I have a feeling that we speak not often enough about positive aspects of our European variety. We say about it from time to time, that it exist, but we do not stress that its wonderful. Especially now when thanks to functioning of the European Union, many countries finally live peacefully and other try to cooperate with the organization. Contemporary Europe made of ancestors of Celts, Slavs, Germans, Romans is a varied land of opulent common history, art, knowledge and identity. Europe is simply beautiful mosaic accumulated on only 2% of the Earth’s surface. In the text I will indicate some fields that distinguish us from other continents.
– represent plurality of 47 countries;
– have more than 200 languages;
– have a common cultural and spiritual heritage (Greek, Romans);
– set the oldest, prestigeous universities: Bologna, Padua, Cambridge, Oxford, Charles University of Prague, Jagiellonian University in Kraków;
– have many objects on the list of World Heritage Sites made by UNESCO (77 sites in Eastern Europe and 131 sites in Western Europe);
– succeed in the creation of the Council of Europe and the European Union;
– the European Union as the biggest exporter in the world;
– say that the European Union received Peace Nobel Prize in 2012 (for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe).
Unique organisation- the European Union
The aim of the EU is stated in the Treaty on European Union, where is written: “creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”. The initial idea that was expressed by founding fathers concerned stopping violence and conflicts in post- war Europe and making most important political actors (France, Germany) linked to each other economically. Nowadays the EU associates 28 countries. Citizens of Member States share the same EU citizenship. Abolition of controls at internal borders and common currency (euro) are also factors that contribute to fostering European identity. The European Union membership and standards bacame for other countries a main goal to achieve in the future.
Truth hidden in stereotypes
One can find set of stereotypes concerning almost every nation on the continent. Germans are considered to be people who love order and organization. Spanish nationals have a lot of charisma and artistic inclinations (dancing, singing, painting). Poles, Ukrainians and other Slavs are hospitable, helpful and hardworking. Italians can be mostly known for their emotional characters, beautiful landscapes and delicious food. France is a place where the diplomacy, political thinking reaches perfection as well as cuisine, fashion and art. Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland) stand for a balance power to a sunny temperament of southern countries. Scandinavians love nature, cleanliness, discipline. They are certainly very respectful and well educated.
European cocktail tastes good!
Let’s make a special menu of European dishes. I bet people from other continents would have hard time not to choose everything at once. On such a list would mix Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western European, cuisines making it impossible to compare them with any other continental cuisines. We Europeans would certainly propose to try from „this menu” things like: Spanish paella, Neapolitan pizza, Greek salad, Polish pierogi, Ukrainian borscht, English Sunday roast, Serbian Đuveč, Belgian moules frites and Russian pirozhki. For the dessert of course we recommend layered cake, so called Slovenian Prekmurska gibanica.
Everything said here may seem to be a perspective of someone wearing pink glasses. Of course I see some drawbacks, things that I would like to change in Europe, but then it would look like a utopia- place impossible to exist. Still, Europe is a welcoming homeland for us- Europeans and for other people willing to find here better life.