Welcome! The 4th European Parliament of persons with disabilities is about to open and start its works. You deserve a lot of congratulations and well done for your participation. And this is something I wholeheartedly mean. I know from first-hand the difficulties you have experienced on your way to here leaving your home, reaching the airport, taking public transportation, or even getting to the European Parliament. This is why, as a standing MEP, I work closely and dive into issues related to disability as I also am a person with disabilities myself. The first step for improving the life of people with disabilities has to be taken collectively. We need education, knowledge and culture in order to change the existing model of philanthropy that applies to disability related actions and policies. We should promote actions aiming at social inclusion in order to allow for people with disabilities to develop their talents, skills and abilities. People with disabilities are not second-class citizens. They are flesh of our society´s body. The European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities stands as a great opportunity for the voices of people with disabilities to be heard in the heart of the European Union. Only if our concerns are well understood we will have better decisions taken for us, but with us.