My name is Adrià Rodríguez-Pérez (@adriarope) and I am twenty-five years old. I was born in the south of Catalonia and raised on the banks of the Ebro river. I moved to Barcelona when I was eighteen and since then the capital city of Catalonia has become my answer to the question of “where I am from”.
I’m currently living in Strasbourg, the second stop in my bittersweet exile. The European Capital of Human Rights, where over twenty international organizations seat, is a city full of opportunities for a young political scientist like me. (But if you can keep a secret, I can assure you that Barcelona is far more international!)
I studied in Barcelona for five years. During my graduate studies on political science at Pompeu Fabra University (@univpompeufabra, @politiquesupf) I finally found my real vocation – international relations! I had my first-hand international experience at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internationals (@ibei) studying with colleagues from all over the world. The same year I also had the chance to travel to Mexico for a moot court competition on the International Criminal Court. It was on the other side of the Atlántico that I made a decision: the only limit is the world.
So I packed all my stuff, my knowledge and my zeal for discovery and moved to the amazing Manila, capital of the Philippines. At 11.000 km away from home I felt more Catalan than ever. I will never forget the few occasions that I had to speak Catalan! At the same time, finding out that even on the other side of the world we are not so different. As a political scientist, I felt that democracy and human rights are something worthy to fight for. I lived there for almost a year, and I still think that a part of me decided to stay when I took my plane back to Europe…
I am currently working at the Council of Europe (@coe). But be aware, the “watchdog of democracy and human rights in Europe” is not the European Union! The Council of Europe includes 47 member states (28 of which are members of the European Union). All of them have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty for the protection of the human rights of 820 million Europeans!
Here, I work on issues of culture and democracy. My colleagues and I are committed to strengthening democracy in Europe, and we know that this is not possible without taking into account the role of culture. As we say: “culture is the soul of democracy”! As Catalan, I have no doubt that without the recognition of our cultural rights there is no such thing as democracy.
This is a great opportunity for me to raise those issues on the Internet, and learn from your experiences from all over the world. That is why I am so looking forward to get in touch with you at @catalanvoices!
I hope I will not disappoint you!