What does it mean being a young European in 2017?

Monday, 05 June 2017 16:24
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by Eleonora Lamio (EPOS)
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Being a young man and/or a young woman in Europe means being born in a reality in which the European Union already existed. Therefore, our first political memories are linked to the European Union. Along with the realization of our nationality, the concept of nation and the history of our country came the EU and its institutions. We have grown up in a world where the EU was already a certainty. It was not only a certainty, but also assured us some values and a way of life that for older generations weren't granted, such as living in peace and not facing wars, having a proper welfare system and social assistance, the respect of our fundamental rights, freedom of expression and last but not least the common currency, the Euro.

"For me being European means having the chance to discover and appreciate other cultures, and to be able to identify ourselves in those. It means sharing values, experiences, thoughts and knowledge with people who are similar to us, but who have grown up in different circumstances. It is also sharing a common identity, without refusing or deleting our own identity". Mathilde

Being a young European in 2017 means feeling ourselves closer to the other youth coming from the other 27 Member States. We can definitely affirm that Europeans have a common culture with  common values: democracy, freedom, respect and tolerance. The European Union has weakened the national differences between us and brought us closer. We, as European youth, share our common history, the same way of seeing the world and looking around us. It is easier for us to bond, to understand and to built up a relation with our European fellows. This does not mean that our individual nationalities are less important than the European common sense; on the contrary, it means acknowledging them and sharing them with the others. Being a young European means treasuring our differences and making them available to the others.

"Being a young European means several things, but overall it means being able to think in a non-individualist  and non-selfish way and being interested in other opinions and needs". Alessandro

"To me, being European is a way of life. Europe has given to me freedom; the freedom to move freely around Europe that, to me, is like a single, huge country. It allows me to create bridges, build friendships, meet people and learn from them". Christian

Moreover, being a young European means having hundreds of opportunity at your own disposal, like learning new languages, studying in any European countries without problems, travelling all around the Union and working in any other Member State with no difficulties. This is possible thanks to various European projects promoted by the Commission and the Parliament; Erasmus+ for instance, gives European (and non-European) youth the chance to study in any European country, experiencing different languages, new cultures and various lifestyles. Our generation is called "the Erasmus generation". The European Union encourages and spurs us to travel and to discover new places. It is so much easier for us to travel and to visit cities and villages and town and countries with a low budget and without a Visa. Euro, as our common currency, allows us not to change money, and this is something to take into consideration when you organize a journey abroad.

The European youth does not have enough problems in looking for a job abroad because the job market is fluid and flexible.

"Often we don't realize how extraordinary the European Union is, neither how much work it needs. The EU can walk on its own legs only if the legs can support the weight of the Union and can make it moving forward. All of us, as European citizens, are the legs of the European Union. We should understand this point and keep it in mind. We must re-discover the pure European sentiment, without missing our fundamental values. Nevertheless, more actions should be taken by the European institutions and by all of us. We should all be involved much more in the European process of integration. We should talk to each other, interact and confront our different opinions. We should build our common cultural identity as European". Angela

"Basically, being European means confronting yourself, on a daily basis, with emerging questions on identity, history and society. Our continent, especially in the last few years, have been facing lots of challenges; more than ever, being a European citizen requires bravery and audacity to cope with the treats of cultural obscurantism and the regression of values such as freedom and dignity". Duccio

The European Union is asked to address and to face so many challenges in the near: more integration between the Member States and the European citizens, a common foreign policy, a common defense policy, and other issues. We should all work for the improvement of the European Union and for a common European future. The future of our Union depends on us and on our will to go further.


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect EPOS WorldView’s

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 June 2017 16:33
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