Imagine for only a few seconds how Europe would look like without barriers and prejudices! How many of you believe in a change of boundaries, no matter we think of the economic barriers or the cultural ones? Well now, this change should begin not from today, but from yesterday, as tomorrow is a reflection of the past.
Through my eyes, a teenager from the 3rd millennium, I can see Europe as a mixture of different cultural backgrounds and a mixture of antinomies, full of light and darkness at the same time. Have you ever felt that you can be the one that changes something, but hard upon you simply give up? Me, as an example, a teenager with many hopes and dreams, I fight with the realism and idealism, reality and fantasy at one time. Europe is certainly more than the guardian walls of your home, it represents obstacles, dreams, incertitudes, contradictions.
But you, the reader of these lines, are you prepared to assume the risks of beginning to change something in your Europe, my Europe?…Our Europe! Because I have always asked myself: “Am I prepared to jump over the barriers?“ Essentially, what is the significance of a border? Is it just a line of demarcation or does it represent something more? Is it just a piece of the past or a projection of the future? If so, what is its meaning in the present? So, I have to answer another question: What does jumping over the borders and boundaries mean?
For me, it means solidarity, diversity and unity despite the cultural differences. It is like a glimpse of people’s common thoughts that speak in a universal language. Let’s try an exercise. Close your eyes. Imagine some of the most beautiful cities of Europe: Paris, London, Vienna and now the symbol of each of these marvelous metropolis: the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Schönbrunn Palace, standing near, all together, like fighting each other: Which one is more attractive, which one has more tourists, which one is architecturally more complex. Well, even though I haven’t had the opportunity to visit them yet, I could say, and you will maybe agree, that each of them has its splendor, its history. Now imagine that artists like Picasso, Arthur Rimbaud, Chopin, Goethe, Beethoven and many others would stand all together, even if they are from different centuries and from different geographical areas… Well, that’s jumping the borders for me: stand before a map of Europe, thinking how to compound the essence of each country like in a chemical reaction. The idea that there is another country, at a stone’s throw, with its own past, its own architectural beauty, its own artists and customs really entrances me. This is what jumping the borders and boundaries is about: it is about seeking similarities through a binder between different centuries and customs, different languages and national songs.
If everyone jumped over the cultural, gender and linguistic barriers, then Europe could be called Eutopia: a place where human society, with all the material conditions, is more than perfect. Eutopia derives from Greek and means “good place”. The ideal place, that could be Europe without boundaries...Culture and history, centuries of war and peace can make that all European citizens be bound by something that really defines them: humanity.
Although I have never been abroad with a European project as I haven’t had this type of opportunity, I do believe that there are no boundaries. Despite the fact that I don’t have a personal experience regarding this fact, I can see how many barriers are broken every day. The borders between countries are broken everyday due to the Schengen agreement which made easier the free mobility of people. Moreover, a tragic bus accident in Montenegro that killed 18 Romanian tourists and injured many others could demonstrate how the barriers can be broken: the locals from Montenegro became rescuers, trying to pull out the injured from the deep ravine where the bus crashed. Therefore, the Montenegro citizens showed humanity and solidarity to the Romanian citizens. This is what jumping over the boundaries means!
So come to shape a Europe without borders, a Europe of humanity that applies the most valuable notions that exist: unity, tolerance, solidarity, where all the people sign the “peace treaty”, a brand new Europe started from scratch…Nevertheless, the confidence is more important that any agreement that could ever exist. There are only “mental” barriers, that are connected to the different mentality of people…Well, in this case, differences shouldn’t separate us because we have to preserve Europe’s cultural diversity at the same time… We, European citizens, feel the same, we have the same emotions. All the emotions pulsate through the veins of the lively Europe…Our Europe! Open the eyes above the fake walls, the walls built by ourselves, by our imagination, just to see the other face of Europe, not the one full of prejudices and discrimination. I don’t want to be just a day-dreamer who speaks about all kinds of generalities and who thinks that one only needs a handclap to change something that it is quite difficult to change nowadays, but the ideas, the dreams and hopes can become reality…
Maybe I don’t have the right to speak about the European boundaries, as I have never found out them the hard way, but I do believe that barriers don’t exist, they are only in our mind…The idea that you can apply for a job or study in another European country, where you can get a better sense of what it means to be a European citizen, really fascinates me… I hope that I will have this type of opportunity in the near future just to convince myself that European barriers don’t exist.
Maybe for you I am a foreigner, but no… I am Romanian and I won’t be a foreigner no matter where I wil go…I will be a European citizen.
Don’t forget that Europe’s great heritage is Europe itself!