THE best part of Europe. What we should learn from the terrorist attack in Strasbourg – by Glasgow Caledonian University Professor of Politics Simone Baglioni

Yesterday we counted the fourth victim of the terrorist attack in Strasbourg of earlier in the week: young Italian journalist Antonio Megalizzi did not survive the tremendous wounds he suffered after being shot in the head by terrorist Cherif Chekatt. Mr Megalizzi was in Strasbourg as every month to report about the work of the European Parliament for an international university radio called Euphonica. He had just reached Strasbourg from Italy using a low cost bus service which allowed him to do his job: interviewing European policy makers and experts, monitor the plenary sessions of the Parliament, report live on policy making in Europe, and then travel back home. He was moved by a passion for Europe as a political project and a community, and was at ease with working and living across countries, languages, and cultures. Therefore he was not by chance in Strasbourg, as one might think, he was there as that was his working environment. With his key-working skills of language proficiency, knowledge of European issues and functioning, and passion he is now a symbol of what Europe is and has achieved so far, regardless of Brexit, a single community of values and passions. Antonio Megalizzi’s fate reminds me of Valeria Solesin, a young Italian who had left Venice to start an academic career in Paris: she was killed in the Bataclan music club carnage of November 2015. Valeria, like Antonio, had used the opportunities developed across decades by the making of the European Union, primarily the famous (or un-famous for many Brexiters) freedom of movement, to realise a dream, or, better, to fulfil a cross-border and cross-culture life-project. When Antonio was shut in Strasbourg the other day, another person met with the same terrible fate: Kamal Naghchband, a 45 year old father of 3 originally from Afghanistan, who had elected France, and Europe, as the country where to start a new life in freedom and make up a family. Like Antonio and Valeria, Kamal had considered Europe a community of values and rights, one in which a new life was worth being pursued. Now that all this has happened we have a duty not to forget that the political community we have called the European Union and for which many of our young people have lived and grown up in, and unfortunately some have even died for, is still a huge, unique, opportunity for us all, an opportunity of passion and values of which we should be proud of and ready to strengthen it further with everyday action and thought, regardless of whether our country is in or out. We owe this to Antonio, Valeria and Kamal and the many others European citizens who have strongly believed and fought for it.