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    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    I'm a Spanish citizen and I have lived here in Spain all my life... but I fell both Spanish and European.
    A few months ago I went to America for the first time in my life. I was asked a few times 'where are you from?' I always answered: 'from Europe, from Spain'.
    I think that one of the biggest problems of the EU is that people are not aware of the european citizenship.
    What do you think?
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    I think you are right. I feel the same.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Emilia,

    I feel European, but if anyone asked me where I was from I would say "London", because everyone knows where that is. I would never have said that I'm from Europe because my passport says that I'm British. I'm not sure if I have an option to choose a passport that says that I am "European" but I doubt it. It might help if my passport said "European Citizen" (or "EU Citizen") instead of "British Citizen".

    I think that most other countries treat EU citizens differently depending on which country they are from too (visa requirements for example). So it is not only EU citizens that are not aware of EU citizenship, most other countries are not aware of it either.

    What do passports say in Schengen countries?
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    I think the problem is that EU citizenship isn't a true citizenship. I am aware some people feel it is a citizenship, but just try surrendering it as I and many others have tried in the past. If we are citizens of both our EU member countries and of the EU then we must be able to choose just one of those and only be subject to regulation and taxation related to our choice.

    I have a slip-on cover for my passport which differs mostly by not bearing the words 'EUROPEAN UNION'. Based on how widely they are sold I'm willing to bet they aren't uncommon. So no, I don't feel European, despite holding citizenships and passports from two EU member countries.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Identity is referential to speaker, receiver and context.

    In Porto, the city I live in, I say I’m from Matosinhos, the town within Porto where I live.

    Elsewhere in Portugal, I say I’m from Porto, as the most easily recognizable reference.

    Outside Portugal, I say I’m Portuguese, for similar reasons.

    I don’t know what I would say outside Europe because it never happened… However, in contact with non-Europeans, I have in occasions assumed my European identity in regard to particular cultural issues that set me apart from my interlocutor.

    Identity is multilayered and essentially pragmatic. We assume the part of our identity relevant in a given context. No point in me being identifying myself as Portuguese when in company of other Portuguese, unless I were to imply that I was more Portuguese than they were.

    Alternatively, I never have the occasion to express any religious identity, I rarely express a political one, but I’m often looked at with puzzlement for not having a favourite sports team…
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    I suspect that I might say that I'm 'from Europe' if I made contact to some being from a far-off galaxy. The fact of the matter is that there are very few people who know of Europe who don't also know the UK. There's just no need for me to generalise in that way.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Vince: that was funny... the portuguese people just mention their european identity because no one knows where's Portugal. Ah... the british humour...
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    GaryLondon: "What do passports say in Schengen countries?"

    The "Official Journal of the EU" published the issuing of a uniform passport for the EU in June 1982. Which meant the dark red passport with "European Union" on top.
    Annex II D. says however: "D. If necessary in particular cases, Member States may, without prejudice to the passport to be drawn up in accordance with this resolution, continue to issue the old type of passport."
    (source: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/Notice.do?mode=dbl&lang=de&ihmlang=de&lng1=de,en&lng2=da,de,el,en,es,fr,it,nl,&val=89235:cs&page= )
    This is probably why the UK issues different passports. Nothing to do with Schengen. In Germany, the old green passport is also still issued in emergencies, but is only valid for 6 months (or longer if neccessary, but never the full ten years).

    In Europe, I usually say "from Germany", but outside Europe I would probably preface that by "from Europe" (haven't really travelled outside Europe yet, so this is theoretical).
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Atchiou,

    My "British" passport is also dark red and says "European Union" on top.

    Below that it says "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in a larger font.

    The graphic below that is the "Lion and Unicorn" of the traditional British passport.

    But item E3 ("Nationality") says that I am a British citizen,

    I would like a passport that did not say "United Kingdom....", did not have the traditional British graphic and did not have an E3 entry of "British" citizen.

    Item E3 should say "Citizenship" not "Nationality".

    I would also love Schengen passports to have absolutely no reference to nation on them as national borders are no longer relevant in Schengen countries.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Here's a few tie-in questions for everyone:

    Do you consider other member-states' citizens living in your country immigrants?

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status whether they arrived before or after their country, or yours, joined the UE?

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status the size of their community in your country?

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status their socio-economical level?

    I'm not just asking for your personal opinions, but also for your opinion on your country's public opinion.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Oh, right, then I totally misunderstood you. Sorry! Haven't seen a British passport for a while.
    Well, the passport mirrors the state of the union rather well, I'd say. We haven't done away with nation states yet, and I don't think we are ready for that yet (I can hear the tabloids scream already!).
    For me personally, the Schengen agreement, the Euro and the free movement clause are the things that make me feel European the most. They make moving around in EU-rope much easier. My sister moved to England like she would move to Munich, just put her stuff in a container and that was that. OK, when I go to visit her I still have to show my ID, but that will hopefully change in future. We organised a holiday together, in Finland, and it was just as easy as going to the North Sea (well, for me at least). No ID checks, no money exchange. Even paying for the cabin was easy (even though the transfer form was a bit bigger than the usual one!). And how cool is it to pay your icecream in Helsinki with the money you got from your German hole-in-the-wall? --OK, I'll stop gushing now.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Seileach,

    1) Me - No, British people - Mostly no, the newer eastern European can be seen as economic migrants
    2) Me - No, British people - Yes, again the eastern Europeans in particular, except Poles
    3) Me - No, British people - Mostly no
    4) Me - No, British people - Definitely yes, again the eastern Europeans in particular, except Poles

    Poles aren't viewed in the same way as other eastern Europeans in the general community because many towns have had Polish communities (and Polish clubs) since the second world war.

    I live in the east of London, which has many immigrants from all over the place. The BNP (the British fascist party) distributed leaflets at the last election claiming that they were not a racist party because they didn't just want to get rid of non-whites they wanted to get rid of eastern Europeans too.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Do you consider other member-states' citizens living in your country immigrants?
    Me - no. Public opinion - yes (although some "immigrants" would be seen more as "expatriates")

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status whether they arrived before or after their country, or yours, joined the UE?
    Me - no. Public opinion - no.

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status the size of their community in your country?
    Me - no. Public opinion - no (except for the Slovak community in the Czech Rep but Slovaks are often not seen as immigrants)

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status their socio-economical level?
    Me - no. Public opinion - yes.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Do you consider other member-states' citizens living in your country immigrants?
    Me - No.

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status whether they arrived before or after their country, or yours, joined the UE?
    Me - No

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status the size of their community in your country?
    Me - No

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status their socio-economical level?
    Me - No
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Do you consider other member-states' citizens living in your country immigrants?
    Me - Yes, in the same way as I consider those who move within my country immigrants to their new area

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status whether they arrived before or after their country, or yours, joined the UE?
    Me - No, if someone from France living in Britain then it makes no difference to me if they arrived before or after we joined.

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status the size of their community in your country?
    Me - No, whether the community is one in a thousand or one in three, it makes no difference to whether they are immigrants or not.

    Do you find relevant for their immigrant status their socio-economical level?
    Me - No. Being an immigrant has nothing to do with socio-economic status, it has to do with ones origin being other than where one is currently domiciled.

    Labelling someone as an immigrant is not a problem to me. The problem comes with the way in which some people use that label. The same goes for assignments based upon skin colour - calling someone black or white is just a statement of fact - the problem only comes when such a designation is used for discriminatory or offensive purposes. The way in which the immigrant label is used is much more important than to whom it is applied. And so far as I am concerned, the immigrant label has no valid use other than for social studies in order to better shape policy.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    vince,

    'Immigrant' is not just a social label. It's a legal status as well. There is something of a latent paradox around the status of EU citizens in other EU member-states. The EU asserts European citizenship as a cornerstone of freedom of movement within the EU, but national governments usually continue viewing these migrants as foreigners, and therefore, immigrants.
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    emilia you'r right , or better I'm Italian and you spanish and so...la penso come te l'Europa sarà il nostro futuro. ma anche degli inglesi che sputano(to spit) on the Europe , mangiano contributi comunitari ma non li vogliono pagare ed ora che 15 europei britannici sono stati rapiti dai turchi iraniani vogliono l'aiuto( già dato, we european have right helped GB) chiedono aiuto all'Europa, they ask help to Europe: too much confortable for GB!
    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    cdvcgpd,

    The only one mentioning sputano is you. No British person on this forum has suggested that Britain should spit on the EU.

    You keep saying that Britain doesn't want to pay but Britain is a net contributor.

    Britain doesn't want EU aid (aiuto) it wants a show of solidarity.

    If the soldiers were Italian we wouldn't be having this conversation because Britain would have immediately shown solidarity with Italy.

    The EU foreign ministers, including the Italian, have already demanded that the British soldiers are returned. As with any situation of this type there will be a steady ramping up of pressure on the Iranians. If "demands" don't get the soldiers back then sanctions are next. At first mild sanctions, affecting Iranian government officials, then more severe sanctions affecting Iran's businesses. Britain would expect EU nations to go along with these varying levels of sanctions, just as the Italian government would expect it if the soldiers were Italian.