Vox Pop: Mario from Italy
Country of origin: Italy
Country of residence: Italy/The Netherlands
Profession: Bachelor student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Q: How does the EU influence your day-to-day life?
A: The first practical thing this question makes me think about is the Schengen Agreement. The creation of a European area of free circulation of people and goods is not only a positive progressist concept but also has practical implications that can benefit the citizens every day. I feel particularly lucky to have the freedom to move from Italy (my country of origin) to the Netherlands (where I am studying) without time-consuming visa controls. And I came to appreciate this even more noticing the difference when flying to the UK.
Q: When you think about the EU, what is the first picture that comes to your mind?
A: The European soccer cup. If I have to pick one, the first one after my birth, Euro2000, with Totti making the Panenka penalty kick against the Netherlands.
Q: End the sentence: “Twenty years from now the EU … “
A: …will hopefully have finished with the populist Eurosceptic wave that is hitting it these days. Hopefully not just by imposing dominant values, but also listening to the critiques that its citizens raise and educating future generations.
Q: Choose three adjectives for the EU!
A: Representative. The EU is not only an institution or a few buildings around Europe. It is representative of its inherent values and ideals, the most important of which, I think, is democracy.
Organized. Independently from the results obtained it is not fair to argue that the EU is not a well-organized set of institutions which operates from the international to the local level.
Multidisciplinary. Indeed, the EU roles and issues touches the most various aspects of citizens’ lives.
Q: Explain the EU to an 8-year-old child (in elementary school) in one sentence.
A: The European Union is a group of countries from Europe who believed in the same ideas and who wanted to work together to have the same currency and no borders.
Q: If the EU was an animal, what would it be and why?
A: It would be a turtle. Maybe it is sometimes slow, but at the same time it is wise – with small steps it can achieve great results and with its strong shell of values it can defend itself from any enemy.
Q: Is there a dish (in your country) that describes Europe best, and why?
A: The national Italian dish is obviously pizza. In a good pizza, the single ingredients play different precise roles in the final taste, just as the national states in the EU. Some ingredients are more present, and their taste is dominant, while other ingredients are present in small quantities, but they still add creativity and value.