25.3.07

50 YEARS EUROPE

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Today is the 50th anniversary of EUROPE.

Roman Treaty

On March 24, 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany, signed the Rome Treaty. This established a European Economic Community (Commun Market).

One of the most important persons participating was Paul Henri Spaak. He was thePrime Minister of Belgium and Minister of Foreign Affairs. His role in the creation of the EEC earned Spaak a place among the Founding Fathers of the European Union. His dream was already at that time to create a United Europe.

In 1958 the members opened their offices in Brussels and Brussels became the capital of Europe.

This picture represents the "Berlaimont" which houses the Eurpean Commission consisting of 27 Commissioners, one from each member state of the EU supported by an administrative body of about 23,000 European civil servants. Now 50 years later we are maybe approaching this target a , but it's still not yet completed.

The European Union (EU) is now a supranational and intergovernmental union of 27 states in Europe. It was established in 1992 by the Treaty on European Union (The Maastricht Treaty), and is the de facto successor to the six above mentioned members of the beginning.

A lot of changements had therefore occured. No borders anymore, more then 90 % of the member states have the same money (Euro) and there is also a commun police, Europol (the name is a contraction of European Police Office) which is the European Union's criminal intelligence agency. Enjoying immunity from prosecution, Europol became fully operational on July 1, 1999.

There is still a lot to do, especially to change people's mentality from being only French, Belgian or German and to become a Europan French, Belgian or German. Most of the people are afraid they would loose their country's identity, traditions and their language.

Languages are the biggest barrier between the different countries and therefore also a big obstacle. If you cannot understand what your neighbor is talking about in your own city, how difficult is it then between countries !

I think the generation now, especially the older one, are not convinced about a united Europe. It will be much better in the next generation, already now there are so many youth exchanges and allow young people to open their minds learning languages and communicate between each other. They will see their part of the world in a completely different way.

But I can consider myself already as a European. Mr. Gattino is Italian, my son is a mixture and has two passports, Italian and German, we live in Belgium. My son lives with his Dutch girlfriend in Amerstam, but is domicilated in London. Mr. Gattino and I speak German together, with our son french (but he also speaks German) when we have Italian guests we speak Italian, when we have other guests usually French and when our son is here with his girlfriend we speak English. Now isn't that a European family ? And meanwhile the EU has become the largest economic entity and one of the largest political entities in the world, with 493 million people and a nominal GDP of €11.5 ($15.0) trillion in 2006. And that is already something. (Wikipedia)

If you want to read how I lived the beginning of Europe, when I had to follow my parents to Brussels a fact which has changed my life completely you can read it here

  • THE START OF EUROPE - I WAS FOURTEEN
  • The Justus Lipsius building, the headquarter of the EU Council in Brussels is a governing body that forms, along with the European Parliament, the legislative arm of the European Union (EU). The Europol building in Den Haag (Holland) Euro bills and coins

    12 comments:

    Shelly Kneupper Tucker said...

    I heard a speaker ask an audience,"What do you call a person who speaks two languages?" The answer was bi-lingual. "What do you call a person who speaks three languages?" Tri-lingual. "What do you call a person who speaks one language?" An AMERICAN!
    I love your post! Here in America we expect everyone to learn our language, and if we travel we expect everyone to know English. It's interesting, and eye opening, to read about life for a European. You are going to make me go dust off those foreign language books I have on my shelf. I look forward to more of your posts!

    Melli said...

    Gattina - this is absolutely fascinating! It's like the exact opposite of the "building of America" - where we started with one HUGE piece of country and broke it into smaller states all of one nation. You are taking sooooo many countries and putting them together to make a "nation" of sorts! And I had NO IDEA that Europe was only 50 years old! We share our birth year -- me in September! This is verrrrry interesting! Thanks!

    As for MY "thankful" lists ... I AM being thankful TO somebody. I set mine up to be the one thing each day that I find to thank GOD for! And some days it's harder than others to find one thing! But then again, some days there is sO much! But when this meme started, I decided to do it this way - to thank God. Some of the others DO use it just as a list of happies! And then, of course, some completely ignore the purpose of the meme and just make a list of anything! I think some people just have to "join" everything - even if they have no intention of playing by the "rules" (if there really are rules...)....

    Shelly Kneupper Tucker said...

    Hey Gattina, you were my inspiration for my post today. I've linked to your article.

    Irish Church Lady :) said...

    Very interesting read! So you speak at least four languages? I think that is remarkable and really awesome!!! I really wish I could speak more languages. I really need to be emersed in them to learn them. The grammar I find is the hardest.

    LOL at Shelly's joke. So true.

    I have an Irish passport so am a member of the EU! I haven't been able to use it yet, as I only got it last year.

    ~Toodles~
    ~ICL~

    chase said...

    Happy European Anniversary to you as well! I admire that you can speak different languages as well!

    Pamela said...

    I'm so envious of your language abilities.

    Took spanish classes as an old person... but I didn't stick with it.


    Therefore I only speak English.

    JennyMcB said...

    Gattina,
    Great post, I did not know the history and this was interesting. On the subject of language, what language do you dream in? When you speak other languages, are you translating in your mind or are you thinking in the language you are speaking? It's just one of those things that I think about when I hear people speaking different languages.

    We have had an exchange program with a school in Denmark, my son and I both got to go separately when I was still teaching and have had two exchange students here. Our first student had to think and then respond, but the second had attended an international school in Luxembourg for a few years so the English was noticeably easier for him. I noticed that many people spoke English during my visit to Denmark where we spent a day in Sweden and a day in Germany.
    Jen

    Raggedy said...

    Happy Europe Anniversary!
    I had some catch up reading to do here. Our ISP server keeps going down and out.
    Ihr Pfosten ist fabelhaft!
    J'ai apprécié lisant l'histoire et regarde les images.
    Ringraziarla per dividere il suo Anniversay con noi!
    Have a wonderful day!
    *^_^
    (=':'=) hugs
    (")_ (")Š from
    the Cool Raggedy one

    Luna said...

    Liebe Gattina, ich freue mich, dass du über "50 Jahre Europa " geschrieben hast. Also "europäischer" als deine Familie ist, kann man ja fast gar nicht sein. Ich bin sehr beeindruckt. Ich spreche außer Deutsch leider nur schlecht Englisch. In der Schule habe ich mal Französisch gelernt, habe aber leider vieles wieder vergessen, wegen mangelnder Übung. Da wir immer nach Italien fahren, verstehe ich zumindest die wichtigsten Dinge auf Italienisch
    Ich finde es toll ,wenn wir nach Italien fahren und man in Österreich und Italien keine Ausweise mehr zeigen muß und wir kein Geld mehr tauschen müssen.
    Au revoir !

    CyberCelt said...

    You are such a scholar. I had no idea that Europe came into being in my lifetime.

    Small wonder, I can hardly get out of Texas. LOL.

    Here from BC carnival.

    IRENE said...

    Hello,
    I have seen your name many times, but haven't actually visited. Glad I did!

    I like to think of Europe as a big family where every nation is different but we are all bound by our common descend and where we can and should all contribute our best. Elegance, high spirits, inventiveness, generosity, organizartion,you name it, it's all there.
    We lack good leaders as most nations in our times, though.
    The EU should not be purely economic, a great big market.The union is also a matter of identity. We have shared so much over time,from the depths of time, both as Pagans and as Christians, that we should cherish, respect and guard our common herritage and builf further on it.

    Long live Europe and the Europeans!

    Jamie said...

    Thank you for bringing us something informative that we wouldn't have known otherwise.