What kind of Europe do we live in? To be more specific what kind of European Union do we live in? Are we as united in diversity as like to think we are – and who are the true Europeans?
For a long time I thought I was the most European person anyone could ever encounter. Can you blame me? I was born to Greek parents, I was raised in Luxembourg, I spoke French as my first language along my mother tongue of Greek, I attended a European school where I was educated along children from all the other European countries and I was told daily I was the future of Europe and what the EU will one day be. Yes, so I missed that word, “the future”.
Now it’s all clearer to me. I am a model European – I am what a European should be or feel like – but I am not a European. I am only part of a small group of people who have become European. The real Europeans out there, are the Greeks in Greece, the Spanish in Spain, the French in France, the Slovenians in Slovenia. Real Europeans today are usually people from a country, let’s call it X, who live in said country. Their only connection to the EU is their passport, because it says European Citizen on top. Indirectly the union might fund them, or their respective funds and pensions but they are not directly involved in shaping the EU, they do not exchange ideas with other “Europeans” from other countries, they don’t connect in other words.
So, it seems to me like we know what Europeans should be like, but most Europeans are not “Europeans” (in terms of what a European should be like). The questions arise, they are countless, will we ever see our history as mutual? Will we teach future generations tales of Ancient Europeans inventing democracy? the Great European Empire? The Holy European Empire? Alexander the Great of Europe? European Civil War (instead of World War I)? How is that going to work? Because with the current history books we obviously create tension between our nations. But is this something that can/should happen? Do you just change history to create a better future?
In 2013, is the European dream sustainable? Are we going to grow – or destroy what we have created? Euroscepticism is on the rise while EU officials are failing to convince the crowds of countries that are under pressure that we are all on the same boat; and as long as the our EU Presidents are not representing any people but simply government institutions of the EU, I fail to see people being convinced by them. It seems like the Presidents themselves don’t know the kind of authority they have. Is Europe 2020 achievable? How will Europeans react to it?
Europeans are scared of an overhaul that will not favor them. What’s next?