Such a powerful statement… I can’t help but remember the new year’s eve between 2006 and 2007. You may be wondering why. Well, it was the year my country (Romania) officially joined the EU.
I was only 9 years old. How could a child feel those emotions of such a thing? How could she understand politics, economics and so on? Well, even though I was not capable of understanding the changes in the system, I still believed in a change regarding the EU, but in a different one. A change in perspective, a change in people’s minds and hearts. Joining it meant we started dreaming and hoping again. We were free. And the child in me back then understood that.
I was watching a TV program for the new year’s eve. And I remember I was with my family. All of us just watching a screen. But it wasn’t just a regular show or broadcast. It was a historical moment. Our bold and bald president back then was on stage with champagne. He was a really charismatic one and he felt with the people. He seemed to understand us, Romanians. As a little girl, lying on the sofa in the living room, looking a the small screen, I remember the emotions when time seemed to stand still. It was almost midnight and everyone started the countdown.”3,2,1..Happy new year!” the president said.
It felt like breathing a new type of air. A fresher one. A free one. The type of air you long for when you live in a crowded city. It was a huge step for us. No visas when going abroad, lowered custom taxes and a novel beginning in the old political system which went through communism. The EU meant that there was a chance for corruption and bribes to disappear. No extra gift for the doctors, just to treat you. No envelopes with money just to get your passport done. You may not understand that, but it was almost impossible to get anything done without the right friends or gifts. Moreover, the belief in the EU made us strong again, gave us hope for a more free future. More chances for us to study at an international university. More trips and dreams could come true.
Now, 13 years later, after that New Year’s Eve when the little girl’s mind was full of vibrating emotions, I can feel the change. EU did not only give me new hopes and dreams, but gave me a new, fresh and brave perspective. It gave the little girl back than the courage to believe in herself and in the forgotten country she thought she was living in. EU made my first trip outside the country possible, in Italy, the country in which I was able to study 2 years later, also supported by an EU scholarship. All I can say today,I believed in the EU as a curious child and I believe in Eu now, as a determined young woman.
Article written by Amelia Lidia Vatamaniuc