Freedom- Is it just a catchphrase, discusses European dignitaries

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In one of the unique initiatives, the EU National Institutes for Culture in Delhi is conducting ‘The Freedom Project’. As part of the initiative, it asked the European dignitaries about their opinion of freedom. The dignitaries shared diversified views on ‘freedom’ which ranged from encouraging personal freedom to advocating for equality of women with men.

“Freedom is of four types- freedom from poverty, national freedom, political freedom, and spiritual freedom. Swatantrata is Amulya (Freedom is precious),” said Oscar Pujol, Director of Instituto Cervantes.

“Freedom comes right on the top of our constitution. 18th-century swiss-born philosopher Russo highlighted that everyone is born free. In Switzerland, we strongly believe that a society that lives freely will be more creative, competitive, and fair. Freedom does not only extend to what we can or cannot do but who we are,” added Simon Sevan Schafer, Embassy of Switzerland in India.

Sharing her opinion, Ljubica Pevec, President EUNIC said “Freedom for me is to be able to think and live and create at my own pace and way. It starts from within and includes our freedom to choose our path, connect with others, and grow. Freedom is more of an idea than a reality which leads us to the question does true freedom really exists.”

While many of the dignitaries advocated for personal liberty which should not come at the cost of others. They favored a more equitable society with women enjoying equal rights.

“What is the freedom to me? For me, freedom is the capacity to decide, and decide by yourself. However, the liberty of one ends when the liberty of another starts. So liberty means respect for others,” said Guillaume Grangeon, Academic Director, AFD.

“Freedom for me as a woman is the possibility and opportunity to make choices and live a life that is free from outside pressure,” said Kathrina Wieser, Ambassador of Austria to India

Expressing the same sentiments Brendan Ward, Ambassador of Ireland said,” Freedom means a world where all women enjoy equality with men and can achieve their full potential while living a safe and fulfilling life. With equality comes freedom.”

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