Beginning to write about my love for Europe I would like to start with a meaningful and inspiring quote of a current honourable and trustworthy European leader who is a strong advocate of integration, who recognises the importance of young generations, who is not caught up in a capitalist understanding of the world, but who believes in and fights for democracy, peace, human rights, justice and equality. My problem is that I can’t find such politician. Have you got a suggestion for me? May be not for now, but I keep hoping!
Hope – this is exactly where my love for Europe is rooted. The European integration has given me reason to hope. In Europe our ancestors have fought in two devastating world wars, but Europe has learned from this experience and the strong believe in peace has enabled European unification. Especially because of Europe’s past, the symbolic power of European integration is so relevant. I love Europe as it gives me hope for a brighter future. There is so much to do – economically, politically, socially, environmentally! Based on hope, I believe that change is possible. In days when we see young generations standing up for their ideals in the streets of Turkey, Egypt and Brazil – I can not wait to do my part. I can not wait to be part of the change in Europe.
When we at the Project for Democratic Union write about #LoveEurope, there are various ways to your answer: appreciation of the historic developments, appreciation of the benefits and freedoms being European citizens; appreciation of the rich history and diverse culture? Sure, who does not enjoy freedom of movement and labour. When we end up in another European country we get a chance to reflect on our own culture and learn to appreciate our common and individual traits and habits. I love not one but the joint result of these aspects of Europe. What I love about Europe is the rise of a common European identity!
There is actually a big debate going on about the rise and fall of languages. Almost every European country has a decent average level of English. Regardless of criticism, this common basis for communication is so very important for the development of a European society. Wherever you find yourself in Europe, you will be able to connect with locals and other travellers through English. But don’t forget the other languages. Do you really want to learn and understand one of Europe’s cultures – you need to speak the local language. It is not only what they say, but how they say it – the use of words and terms, pronunciation and tone. This is what makes Europe so rich and cultural diverse. Personally this inspired me to learn languages like Spanish, French, Polish and hopefully inspires me to learn a few more. This is why I love Europe!
Image courtesy to Janis Egle via Flickr, released under creative commons 2.0 share alike.