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Country of origin: Northern Ireland (UK/Ireland)
Country of residence: Luxembourg
Q: How does the EU influence your day-to-day life?
A: I currently live in Luxembourg, which is home to several European institutions and some 170 nationalities (85% of which are EU nationals). As such, I get to live and experience the EU every day, from hearing an array of different languages and meeting people from all over Europe and the world. More specifically, the EU principle of freedom of movement has allowed me and many other Europeans to leave our home countries and study and/or work and live in another EU member state.
Q: When you think about the EU, what is the first picture that comes to your mind?
A: It may be cliché but as a History graduate, I first think about peace and our shared European history which has not always been as pleasant as it is today (even considering Brexit!). I then think of (relatively) open borders, travel and Erasmus, which is just one of the many initiatives the EU offers young people like myself.
Q: End the sentence: “Twenty years from now the EU … “
A: …will either have overcome today’s challenges by working together or face extinction. Whilst I’m a self-professed Europhile, I am also aware that the EU is not perfect. I am especially critical of the way in which the EU works at the institutional level at times. However, most of my complaints also apply to national governance, for instance I strongly believe we need younger people with fresh ideas to take the lead in politics and we need more socialist and climate-friendly policies across Europe.
Q: Choose three adjectives for the EU!
A: Fruitful, diverse, liberal
Q: Explain the EU to an 8y old child (elementary school) in one sentence.
A: : The EU is a peace project that brings people from different places together.
Q: If the EU was an animal, what would it be and why?
A: A lion, because it’s a force to be reckoned with and lives in a pack – as opposed to the UK which is currently an isolated house cat unsure if it wants to go inside or outside the door. No offence to cats.
Q: Is there a dish (in your country) that describes Europe best, and why?
A: I can’t think of a specific dish, but I would say potatoes since it is a known staple food of Ireland and actually, I haven’t met (m)any Europeans who didn’t like potatoes in some shape or other.