Following my experiences studying and working in different European countries I conceptualized a theory named “social paralysis” that builds up the foundation of many of my (ad)ventures. Social paralysis intervenes when widely generalized stereotypes diminish a person’s individual capacity to make rationale, just and impartial decisions. Social paralysis can be described when one individual has a stereotyped/prejudiced first perception of another individual most commonly, from a different culture or country.

This behaviour decreases the chances of the latter to be accurately perceived and thus, not having an equal chance for social integration and equal opportunities. I believe social integration is inextricably linked to economic integration, especially in Europe as more and more people are confronted with a mix of cultural background and different languages. My conscience conclusion is that Europe needs to actively promote cultural awareness and social interaction among European nations in order to create a more equal social environment to its citizens. This will thereon help catalyze more opportunities, foster fair competition, and thus, benefit the progress of the overall European economy.

Recently the European Union has developed a new strategy dedicated to empowering youth, called Investing and Empowering (2010-2018), strategy that strives at fostering more opportunities for youth in education and employment. I believe that cultural awareness, multilingualism and mobility are important pillars of the European society, specifically for young Europeans. There are 96 million young people between the age of 15-29 within the E.U and at the age of 19 more than 60 % of them are still in formal education. As part of the Lifelong Learning Programme enabled and funded by the European Commission, various mobility programmes such as Comenius or Erasmus promote and support learning mobility for students across Europe. So far, the numbers have reached aprox. 300.000/ year. This means 0.5% of the total youth population in Europe. I believe that MORE is needed. MORE opportunities in terms of mobility projects for young Europeans are necessary.

The EU as a tangible concept has already happened. It happens right now. I believe the European Union offers great benefits but even greater challenges. One of the biggest challenges is to make Europeans feel European. Romanian European. Swedish European. British European. And I believe Erasmus, if accessible and visible to more Europeans, could make us feel more European!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *