Yes, that’s right. In neighbourhood we have enlargement, accepting our dear neighbours in the EU on the first day of 2007. But according to our dear Plotki web site I will not discuss about enlargement from political view. That’s why I said personal view: the view of a clubber, a student, an NGO activist or a simple person who wants to travel.
All Balkan countries were part of Europe from the beginning of their existence. I hope that you all know the romantic story from Greek mythology on how god Zeus seduced princess Europa. Never mind. If you don’t know, here is short lesson from ancient Greek mythology. He transformed himself into a white bull, got close to her and when she jumped on his back, he started to swim and took her far away on the island of Creta. The relationship of Europa and Zeus and their children that were born was not a problem for the king of Creta to marry Europa and to baptize our continent by her name. Someone will say that I get out of the subject. No, I’m just making a comparison between new members of the EU family and old ones. The important question is: what will simple people get from the enlargement of EU and what will they lose? Opinion from the street, from people who have close mentality like in my country, who sometimes want more to sit, drink coffee in a bar and discuss than to spend 8 hours on their working place. When something has to be done quickly, every day working people are saying: hey, calm down! If we do not finish this today, we have another day tomorrow! Does this sound familiar to you?
I will be honest with you by saying that while I’m writing this text, I’m drinking coffee (I quit cigarettes), playing pool on-line and in the mean time, while another sentence is coming on my mind, I’m watching news on TV. I’m not an octopus, I’m just working slowly, enjoying small things around me, pure hedonistic. Yup! Hedonistic way of life is familiar to all of us from the Balkan region.
Some people are scared that after incorporating the “Aquis”, the package of EU laws will destroy some habits that Balkan countries, especially Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania are practicing: like preparing home made “shnaps”- here called “rakija” every autumn. But we are not Balkan people if we do not find little holes in laws. That little hole is measured in litres that we can prepare and it’s called: for personal use.
Today I read in a newspaper, that working time of administration is changed -, only half an hour difference from the EU one. Sounds good, but will administrative workers give up their habit of drinking coffee during working time? If the boss is going to be changed by European laws, I hope that they will change themselves too. I suppose that my dear neighbours have little problems with accepting and getting used to new European rules and laws, but in the end we all want to be part of that family to which we belong anyway.
Benefits of acceptation will definitely be on political and economical field, but why do we have to lose our habits because they do not correspond with European laws? I’m talking in EU form because Macedonia’s status is: “candidate for EU”. Possibilities of travelling without the need of a visa, equal rights of employing everywhere in EU, equal rights to be candidate on every elections everywhere in the EU and very interesting fact of new European citizenship: to be protected from every embassy of the EU member states, without the need to be a citizen of that country. In short: maximized exterritorial rights.
Yes, I almost forgot: Shengen visa region. I honestly hope that after 1st of January, my dear Balkan neighbours will be very tolerant to their other non-EU member neighbours, because otherwise I would miss summers in Varna, New Year’s Eve in Sofia, “Peshterska rakija”, Bulgarian cheese, the castle of Dracula, historical beauties of Bucharest or skiing in Borovec.
Please dear neighbours (I’m saying neighbours because I also feel Romania as having a similar mentality to ours) do not change! Try to stay the same, as much as you can. Respecting laws will not change our warm, temperamental Eastern European soul. Come on! Let’s have a drink in the name of acceptation that would stay in our memories forever.
Once, Charles de Gaulle said: how can you rule with a nation that has 240 different types of cheese? I would suggest him to come to Eastern Europe and Balkans and try to rule with nations that have more than 100 sorts of wine, shnaps, cheese and salads.