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Oct 14, 2022
Josep Borrell Fontelles

Welcome message from Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission

The European Union Visitors Programme is a unique people-to-people diplomacy instrument focusing on creating personal, long-term, mutually beneficial bonds between political leaders, experts and opinion formers from all over the world, and their European counterparts.

The challenges of today’s world are immense. More than ever, we must build up partnerships, a common understanding and work together to promote global peace, stability, democracy and human rights, to address climate change, digital transformation and to find multilateral solutions based on respect for the UN Charter and its founding principles and values.

Thanks to the EU Visitors Programme, since 1974, we have had the honour to welcome more than 4000 participants to Brussels from more than 100 countries. Every year, around 300 national political leaders, high-ranking government officials, human rights activists, academics and journalists from every corner of the world come to learn more on the European Union, its people, its Institutions and its Member States. This programme has provided opportunities for open dialogue, to raise awareness on issues of mutual concern and it has fostered long-lasting partnerships and friendships. As a result, EUVP participants return to their country with a deeper insight of EU values, interests and policies.

These visits and exchange become just the beginning of a longer journey made of future projects and close cooperation across borders.

We are very proud of this result and we are committed to further develop the programme, to increase its outreach and impact!

The challenges of today’s world are immense and, more than ever, people-to-people contacts such as those through the EU Visitors’ Programme are crucial  to foster trust, a deeper mutual understanding, and find multilateral solutions to global challenges.