After I was given a tremendous opportunity to get some firsthand insights about the challenges facing immigrants in Italy, as well as how some Romanian citizens live there, I am due to share my experience at this conference.
Not because I am one of the speakers, I honestly hope that this one day conference will be the most interesting EU related event that I have ever taken part in since my Chevening Fellowship at the SEI. It’s not the usual (to some) ‘EU blah-blah-blah’.
It is supposed to be an open discussion about how the free right of movement within the EU is respected, and about the countless problems that occur when people are moving from one Member State to another.
Apart from being a delicate political issue, the freedom of movement has to do with European Political Economy, and the extent to which this freedom is really ‘free’ can show us how ‘integrated’ the 27 Member States are.
Whether we are eurosceptics or europhorics, I find very hard for anyone to deny the fact that, apart from the EMU, the four fundamental freedoms of the Internal Market are (or should be) the most palpable results of European Integration.
Among them, the free movement of people is of utmost importance; without it, moving around goods, services and capital would be meaningless. The EU Treaties were written for people not for things, weren’t they?
I know that I am an uncomfortable character (in writing, not in real life I hope :-), and that there are people who may disapprove of several eurosceptical views of mine, as well as despise the fact that I am ‘at war’ with some humanist values promoted in the EU.
On the other hand, others could accuse me of being a ‘EU propagandist’, as long as I am giving speeches on EU topics, and I have been granted some professional opportunities paid by the European Commission (out of ‘EU money’) for the past years.
Well, let my critics say what they please! I believe that there are many necessary good things we could do together, as Europeans. The alternative would be turning Europe back in time, to the first half of the 20th century!
Equally, I think that there are domains that the EU should not interfere with, and I’d like to see many corrections of European policies.
But I don’t believe in anything ever improving by itself. Nor that we could stop the things we don’t like about the EU simply by throwing stones at them. The only chance of seeing our desirable changes taking shape is taking part in the EU.
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