Irish rock star Bono said his love of the European Union would cause him to consider taking on a “high-profile” role in the upcoming European Parliament election campaign.
“I think I will probably have a role to play in romancing the idea of being a European and saying it is something warm blooded. Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling and I am, as an artist, in the service of that,” Bono said at a briefing after meeting parliament President Antonio Tajani in Brussels on Wednesday.
Speaking at the briefing, Tajani praised Bono for his “engagement in favour of Europe."
“Europe is not only the European Central Bank, is not only the euro, is not only our institution. Europe is our life, Europe is our history, Europe is our culture, Europe is our singers,” he said.
The lead singer of Irish rock group U2 was also in Brussels to discuss African development policy.
“We should sit across the table with our African partners, as equals, and take over the world. That's what I'm here to talk about. That is not only for Africa, it is with Africa. It’s a ‘New Partnership.’ Africans are calling for this New Partnership and president Tajani has been very wise to see this as an opportunity,” Bono said.
For his part, Tajani praised Bono for his engagement in favour of Africa, adding, “We need to see Africa through African eyes; this is why I am renewing my long-standing call for an ambitious Marshall Plan for Africa in the next EU budget. Prudent public investment can be leveraged tenfold by the private sector, and by creating opportunities on both continents, we will establish a partnership of equals. It’s the only way we can properly address the migrant crisis and give Africa real hope.”
“We should sit across the table with our African partners, as equals, and take over the world. That's what I'm here to talk about." Bono
Several EU commissioners participated on Wednesday in the launch of a high-level group on Africa designed to deal with issues such as youth unemployment.
The European Commission is one of the drivers of EU-Africa relations and has recently launched a new Africa European alliance aimed at boosting investment and creating jobs.
A commission spokesman said the new initiative would “further enrich the efforts to promote and seize opportunities across both continents.”
After his meeting with Tajani and political group leaders, Bono met youth representatives of the trainees in the Parliament.
Tajani thanked Bono for his “very strong engagement” before the upcoming European elections.
“The European elections next year will be a fight for the future of our citizens. The achievements made possible thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of millions of Europeans are under threat by those who exploit fear and uncertainty… We need Europeans to make their voices heard. It is why I urge everyone to vote in May 2019,” he added.