BRUSSELS – Irish rock star Bono, the frontman for the internationally-acclaimed group U2, met with the president of the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday where he gave a speech reiterating his personal connection to a European identity.
In a joint address with Antonio Tajani, Bono, whose real name is Paul David Hewson, acknowledged some of the concerns affecting citizens of the European Union in the present day but promoted a positive image of the bloc.
“I think I’ll probably have a role to play in romancing the idea of being a European and seeing it as something warm-blooded,” the Dublin-born musician and songwriter said. “Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling and I, as an artist, am at the service of that.”
The brain behind international pop hits like “With or Without You” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” highlighted the EU’s cooperation with Africa in the ambit of development and international aid, but took a swipe at contemporary politics coming from President Donald Trump’s administration in the United States.
“People are nervous about the rise of nationalism, I’m really excited about the rise of internationalism,” the singer said. “America is on its holidays from big ideas, we should sit across the table with our African partners as equals, and take over the world,” he added.
Tajani thanked Bono for his visit to the Parliament and underlined the importance of maintaining a positive image for the EU ahead of parliamentary elections in May 2019.
Bono was to also meet with European Council president Donald Tusk.