By Chikulupi Kasaka
Team Red of Europe on Track 3, led by Madgalena and Hemmo, travelled to Maastricht in pursuit of Borderless Europe and got a chance to collect opinions of the people from there. Why did they visit Maastricht in the first place? Well, you cannot conduct a Europe on Track Project leaving Maastricht behind due to its history. Maastricht happens to be the birthplace of the European Union, European citizenship, and the single European currency, the euro. It feels like a right place to be.
Team Red came across a Canadian citizen there named Zack and used the opportunity right away to interview him about Europe. Zack wanted to know some things from Europe likewise EoT wanted to know his opinion over Europe and his Canadian Experience over similar issues. After almost 45 minutes of interview, the main points can be summarized below.
Which are the main positive points that you see in Europe compared with America?
The EU offers free movement of people and has open borders, free movement of goods and commodities. People enjoy better international trade, better salaries, better prices of groceries and easy access to travel and do tourism.
The use of “Euro” as a common currency within the EU is one of the advantages to boost economic growth. Unlike Canada and its neighbor countries, United States and Mexico, where Canada uses “Canadian Dollar”, US uses “US Dollar” and Mexico uses “Peso Mexicano”. This shows that integration is important for economic growth.
What do you know about Schengen area? What’s your personal opinion about it?
Schengen area covers more than 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders. It mostly functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.
After the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, a number of countries have temporarily reintroduced controls on some or all of their borders with other Schengen states. As of 22 March 2016 Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, and Sweden have imposed controls on some or all of their borders with other Schengen states.
What do you think about the current situation Europe is facing nowadays?
I think that the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels leave a huge security dilemma within the European countries.
Europe is able to support the refugees coming in. Xenophobia exists over refugees in Europe. Refugees prefer to go to the rich countries for better lives and better jobs. Europeans citizens are faced with fears over security in their jobs. Canada is fairly xenophobic as well. They have accepted more than 25,000 Syrian refugees recently. Xenophobic threats are there in the local citizens.
Do you agree with Zack? For us, it was very interesting to get to know the opinion of someone from another continent!
Next stop: Paris, Facing French Clichés: Voulez-vous clicher avec moi?