About the Schengen Zone, European citizenship, the Franco-German hipocracy…and MAYOTTE ;)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 😉 )

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5 responses to “About the Schengen Zone, European citizenship, the Franco-German hipocracy…and MAYOTTE ;)

  1. In essence, I agree with your view on the Schengen issue, except the Hungarian passport thing, which I really don’t care much about. I don’t think a nicer smile on a border guard worth that much.
    One other thing I would like to mentions, since lately I saw a very long and detailed report about Mayotte. The situation of Mayotte is really not that simple as “grow some more bananas”. See this, and than make some Google search about the issue:

    http://www.france24.com/en/20090402-france-looking-stem-african-illegal-immigration-mayote-vote-kenya-cinema-violence-kibera

  2. Okei, I will check it out in more detail….for me in my everyday life it’s worth having it…First of all I can still only work with a permit in the Netherlands and the UK and in my everyday life this causes a lot of problems…months of waiting, not being able to work properly, getting paid with delays, not being able to have multiple jobs and so on…Plus I travel a lot and for some countries there are no Visa requirements … I didn’t wanna apply for it either, but as the situation with the work permits and Schengen + American visas is in a stalemate, i will apply for it asap…

    Now let me check the Mayotte issue in more detail 😉

  3. Okei, I’ve seen the review.. it contains pretty much data I read yesterday…Whether the Comorres and the Arab Leauge on this issue is right or not is a matter of public international law, state self determination and so on…The thing that struck me was, that France is questioning the granting of Romanian citizenship to Moldavians but doesn’t look into it’s own back yard…These are 200.000 new people, who have no European connections culturally, linguistically and historically but who become European all of a sudden. I wander if a new French citizen from Mayotte will end up in one of the Paris slums….Most likely yes…The fact that there are challenges lying ahead of them is a consequence of the vote. You become European, you have to accept the common acquis all the others accepted upon joining… These people are in a worse economical and social situation than most of Moldavians but it seems okei to the French government…And let’s be frank about it…It doesn’t seem right to you, me or anyother that on paper people with absolutely no European connection are suddenly more European than us …

  4. It is not true that Mayotte is in the EU because it is an overseas Department and Region. It may never happen, but if it does it will be in 2014 only- check this easily on Google. And there are thousands of Mahorais in the Metropole already since they need no visas, so no doubt, as the students at least are poor, some live in slums. Moldova was never a colony, whereas the EU has inherited them so has become a colonial power itself, and even gives lots of money to those that lie within its borders, which Mayotte will be too, come 2014. I hope this clears up your various queries.

    • “After the local Mahoran status referendum that occurred in March 2009 and which overwhelmingly approved a constitutional reform with about 95% of voters, Mayotte will become a Mayotte – “new overseas department (or DOM, département d’outre-mer), further increasing its links with the legal and social system used in La Réunion and in the métropole. This will require abandoning some customary laws, adopting the standard French civil code, and reforming the judiciary, educational, social and fiscal systems, over a period of about 20 years. In addition, the department will become fully eligible to fundings from the European Union (to which it will be fully integrated) like the four other French DOMs.” this is what wiki says and according to the news at the beginning of the year, since 1 Jan 2011, the island is a French DOM, which means they are technically part of France just as French Guyana is…They get EU funding, no visas, the Euro and so on.

      Now I don’t know if it seems strange to you or not, but for me treating a Romanian (might I say, European historically, linguistically) as second class (check the accession treaty of Romania and Bulgaria and the provisions on work restrictions) and a tiny island off the coast of Africa as full fledged EU is a hipocracy. It is called the European Union, not the European Colonial Union.

      And concenring Moldavia. The argument was different. One of the concerns of the West was how Romania allows Moldavians (might I add most of them ethnic Romanians) to get the RO citizenship and now Hungary also allows ethnic HUs from the former Kingdom to get the HU citizenship, thus becomming in the case of Moldavians either EU or in the case of HUs outside of Hungary, Schengen citizens. And that is none of anyone’s business !!! check how many millions have the Italian citizenship just because their grandad emigrated to let’s say Argentina. The EU citizenship is a corollary to the national one and not vice versa. The EU cannot prohibit any Member State to afford citizenship to who they want to.

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