Travelling to Poland, Team Blue from Europe on Track 3 got the chance to interview many young people on important issues about European borders and the situation with refugees. Let’s see what results they got!
Two Polish students, Boguslawa, 23, and Daniel, 26, agreed to answer our questions. Both of them have travelled abroad and took part ininternational projects. They are both satisfied with the living and working conditions in their country, and are considering to stay there in the future.
What is Europe for you? What do you feel when you hear this word?
Boguslawa: I think that it is a way in which all people from Europe share some traditions; and it is very important to know and cultivate them because they allow us to understand history. We share a lot of it: sometime difficult and sometimes nice but by understanding it we can avoid many problems, and I hope we will do so.
Do we need to change anything in the functioning of Europe? What should be improved?
Boguslawa: Of course we should change, but I don’t have any recipe for that, I don’t know how to fix this whole situation. I think that one big issue is that in Poland, and I think it happens in many other countries, so many politicians are involved in media. Sometimes, they own all radio stations, all newspapers, they even funded them! And we have no idea what is really going on because we are just sold some information from people who are personally involved in that. So, we cannot really judge the situation because we are not sure of what is going on.
Here is an example of how media works. I live in a place where there was a march on our Independence Day, and they tell us on a TV some things while I see through my own window other things totally different than what they tell me on the TV! I mean, I see a guy who is talking on his phone, and he raises his hand up saying: “Hey, you can find me here” to his friend, and then I find this picture on the news, and he is called a fascist because he is making ‘roman salute’. The question is how to change it.
That is why we make this project, to get to know what people think to make then the report with systemized data, and show the result. This result will be heard. You asked how we can change it, so probably this is the way, and you are part of it.
Daniel: It is a very wide question, and it could be discussed for at least an hour, with politicians, not with me, I am only a student. However, there are couple of things that could be improved.
Now a lot of people are wondering about the European Union, if it is going to collapse or not. I think there’s a bright future for the European Union because conflict and discussion are something natural for such a big diversity, we have so many countries in it, and it is impossible that all this countries will have all the time the same opinion. So for me the core is this discussion and finding the solution from this conflict.
Now we have a problem with immigrants. For example, Eastern countries say that we need to defend our borders; on the other hand, Western countries say that, we should accept all of them (immigrants). In my opinion, the solution is somewhere in between. We should think about borders, make them tighter because it is a really big problem but, at the same time, we should accept all the people who need help, maybe not all the immigrant who came from other countries with good conditions, but for sure all the people who really need help. Both sides have good intentions; it is hard to connect fire with ice but we have to.
What would you wish for the future of Europe?
Boguslawa: I hope that these conflicts and discussions about our problems will make us stronger, that we will find some way of communication. Usually few voices, few countries, like Germany, France and England, have the strongest voice, and I hope that we will learn that in conflict situations like this we have to listen to everybody, and we will learn something.
Daniel: I was wondering about the same that was said, I wish that the power of each country would be balanced because some countries are overpowered, and at the same time others are underpowered. So I hope for a better balance, and I wish for a Europe that will be united, and the rest of the countries who are not involved in the European Union will become members. I think that’s all.
Interviewer: Thank you both for your answers and the participation, your voice will be heard.
As we can see from those answers and summarize from other interviews and indoor session, young people strive for equality and non-radical solutions. It is easy to cross borders from some countries to others (from Schengen to non-Schengen) but not the other way round. There are two better solutions to solve two different problems. The first one would be expanding the Schengen area for other European countries. The second one is to help first refugees who are in need and then supporting economic immigrants.
Big thanks to AEGEE-Warszawa for the participation and assistance with the sessions!