Romanians, like any European with self respect, don’t know too much about the EU. Nevertheless, there is a majority of 60% which are content and even thrilled about Romania’s adhesion to the EU. To what fact do we owe that? The answer varies dramatically once the citizen category we are referring to changes.
The young generations (up to 30-35 years old) are by far the most thrilled by the chance that Romania has in this political and economical context. Whether they have already experienced what a unified Europe means or not (by studying or traveling in the EU), they are the ones that truly welcome this adhesion. To their enthusiasm one can reply that it is mainly caused by their inexperience, but a fair attitude requires a more respectful approach towards the ones that will, after all, carry along must of the hard work generated by the adhesion.
Psychologically, this generation is the one that never really suffered from the euro-alienation that Romania underwent during the Cold War. They know no word in Russian and regard the actual status and position of Romania in Europe as a rather natural one, generated not only by mere geographical reasons, but also by the affinity that Romania has with the nations forming the EU. History lessons about Romania as the Eastern gate of Europe and as a guardian of the European peace are if not forgotten, at least regarded with due reticence. The best reward for this generation will certainly be its chance to live in a Romania that’s part of the EU.
The middle aged Romanians are satisfied with the news of the adhesion, but they also have a certain reticence, certain circumspection about the sudden economical well being. Also not against the idea and the principles of the EU, it will be more difficult for them to be convinced about the incredible advantages that Romania will benefit from once the shock of the adhesion passed. Nevertheless, they regard with a certain satisfaction the fact that above the Romanian authorities there will be another level, the communitarian one, aspect which is hoped to lead to a diminution of the corruption and influence traffic that characterizes the Romanian decision poles at the present.
There is also another category as far as the attitude towards the Romanian adhesion to the EU is concerned and it coincides mainly with that of the elderly Romanians, the ones that celebrated these days in great pain the death of the last heiress of the Ceausescu family (the communist Romanian leader). These persons are not necessarily against EU, but they are in a great extent in deep disapproval of everything Romania represents today, and therefore, also against the euro-optimism that characterizes, over all, the Romanians at the moment.
Still, never minding this categorization (a bit helpful and more wrongful and possibly misleading, like any other), there are some truths that Romania is surely to be facing due to the adhesion, such as the presence (or the arrival, for the more skeptical ones) of a new epoch in this country’s development, a historical step forward that has been made possible by the favorable economical and political European context.
Undeniably, the two terms in presence (Romania and European Union) will have to adjust themselves in order to best empower the capacity of the other. Therefore, Romania will have to learn to meet the European requirements without considering this as an imposed action and as not “characteristically Romanian” and Europe will have to remember, each time the issue of the wealth of the European nations raises, that it was the countries of the EU that voted for this adhesion and also to bear in mind the economical situation of the Germany, after the World War Two, or the evolution within the EU, of some countries like Spain, Portugal or Greece.
Romania will be, as Mr. Basescu, the Romanian President declared, a surprise for the EU. And the final outcome is surely an entirely positive one. What raises most of the questions and the uncertainties or doubts is the way between these two extremes: the palpable present and the sure, but distanced future. But, it is exactly here that the power of the people acting today can manifest and build the future. It is exactly here that the power of the present time can manifest, the responsibility of taking the right actions belonging to Romanians as well as to the citizens of the EU.