The Value of Europe

Anna writes about her experience as a new European citizen

Written by Anna Hollnagel


Everyone knows the benefits of the European Union which I do not have to go into in detail. What I can tell you however is that here and there I come across people who take those benefits for granted. They complain that their country has lost its sovereignty or cannot govern itself as it would wish to; that there is some sort of unfairness, maybe in monetary policy or the refugee situation.

Being born in Armenia and just recently becoming an EU citizen I could not fulfil my dream of work and travel across Europe when studying at university. Back in those days I could not go and visit my dream country, Ireland, the country with its world-famous Guinness, beautiful music and famous friendliness of its people. There is that restriction for Non-EU citizens called the Schengen Agreement, the impact of which I felt the most.

Earlier in 2017 I visited Ireland for the first time and was not disappointed. I fell in love from the first time I touched Irish ground. Every detail when talking to people, breathing in their way of living and that warmth and kindness is second to none. I could not feel more happy and grateful about the European Union`s idea of free movement of people, goods and capital.

Having that opportunity to culturally exchange with so many countries and get to know the diverse and unique history of each one of them makes me feel free and happy. Moreover, I strongly believe that only a united European Union can ensure safety in times of terrorism and prosperity in a hard-contested global economy.

Let us continue working on a democratic and strong EU so our descendants will continue benefiting from it the way we do now. It is highly important, especially in times of Brexit.

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