Being the first day of the year 2011 it is good to start with the summing up of some wonderful news in the happy-jolly-go lucky European family. As of today Estonia is an official member of the EUROZONE (woohoo, good for them, although some people predict the Euro won’t survive the next decade) and the European Union has a new territory. The sunny South African/in the Indian Ocean island of MAYOTTE. Yes my dear friends the former oversees collectivity of the glorious nation of France voted in 2009 to become a fully fledged French Department (territorial unit) from 2011.
So now that we write 2011 in our calendars, let’s welcome the “hard working” people of Mayotte. Of course they made damn sure to vote 95 % in favour of becoming a French Department, because this way they became full members of the European Union. This does not mean however that they are in the Schengen zone, as all French overseas departments are exempted from it, but it makes sure that the island with almost no revenue (probably they grow bananas, I don’t know and live out of European funds), with a population of almost 200.000 people of whom less than half speak French (the others speak some Bantu languages and Arab) are EU members with more rights in certain countries than myself (you know, Romania “is still” in the transitional zone). This of course is also the case with other French DOMs (département d’outre-mer) such as French Guyana in South America or La Réunion in the Indian Ocean.
Why am I writing all this? Because some weeks ago, the French President and the German Chancellor decided to make sure that they will do everything in their powers to block the Romanian entrance into the Schengen zone in March 2011. I will not address the incompetence of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Relations or of the Government, who in such a case should have at least had a stronger reaction, but I will address the motives of denial (“access denied”). One of the main concerns was the Romanian-Moldavian border issue and the granting of Romanian citizenship to Moldavians. (for all of those who don’t know, 70% of Moldavians do speak Romanian and historically are ethnic Romanians). This is viewed as a “huge threat” to the EU stability, because a couple of thousands of Moldavians with Romanian citizenship could bring havoc to Europe.
My dearest French and German states persons.
- First, of all EU citizenship is a corollary to national citizenship and not vice-versa. It means that each country grants citizenship to whoever it wants to, according to their own national laws. Ever wondered why you see so many Brazilians studying in Europe? Because they are third generation Italians, with the Italian citizenship passed down to them through blood-line. The fact that most of them don’t speak Italian and grew up in Brazil is another matter.
- Second, what about the hundreds of thousands of Guyanese, Mayotte and other who don’t have any connection with Europe? They have French citizenship and this allows them to travel freely in the Schengen zone, once they enter metropolitan France.
- Romania did make efforts the last years and spent around 2 billion euros to reinforce its external borders. Maybe France should be more preoccupied with illegal immigrants passing through the Guyanese jungle or North African people coming to Marseille in illegal ships or to Sicily on make-shift barges.
- At least have some historical consideration. I am ethnically Hungarian (but the same holds true to Romanians) and my ancestors died through centuries of battles with the Mongols, Ottomans, Russian, Nazis, protecting core European values. Have at least some consideration to those who made your countries be prolific, while these countries were occupied, pillaged for centuries.
So now that I come to the end of this small writing of mine. The only option I see fit is to call the Hungarian Embassy and apply for Hungarian citizenship asap. Why? Because finally ethnic Hungarians from outside of Hungary can apply through a fast track procedure to become citizens of that country. And luckily I am an ethnic Hungarian, who did 12 years of education in this language and who’s great grandfathers were citizens of Hungary. So even if Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkell want to make me a second class EU citizen for some more years, I will make sure to find another way around the problem, as always. (Because you see I want to travel freely without stupid border officers looking at me like scum and I want to work in the Netherlands without any permit). And the granting of citizenship is a matter of state business. So the EU can stay out of it.
As for the hard working people of Mayotte… What can I say? Grow your bananas or whatever. I have nothing against you people, living somewhere off the coasts of Southern Africa. But I do consider myself more European than you guys, although technically on paper I’m less…And a Happy New year to y’all (because Jennifer from the Midwest taught me this 😉 )