First of all, apologies for posting something political, especially after an absence of more than a year (which I’ll explain in a later post). But I very much want the UK to stay in Europe, and have only recently realised just how bereft I’d feel if we left. I can’t get out on the streets to campaign in the EU referendum as I’m not living in the UK right now. So a blog post (plus tweets) seemed the best option to set out my feelings.
My life since my early twenties has been influenced by Europe. I’ve lived in France, Italy (for more than 20 years), and am now living and working Germany. In these countries I enjoy voting rights and access to public services, just like we offer to EU incomers to the UK.
My husband is Italian, my children Scottish-British-Italian, and I have the most wonderful Italian in-laws you could wish for.
My translator colleagues are a gloriously mixed bunch of nationalities (Scotnetters, I love you!).
The EU: good for business
Over 90% of my clients are based in the EU. I can bid for (and even win!) contracts with European Union institutions and with public sector organisations in EU member states. I am currently working in Germany as an in-house translator-editor for an EU institution.
When I moved back to Scotland from Italy in 2002, I took part in EU-funded business start-up workshops here in Glasgow that profoundly influenced my whole approach to my work and from which I’m still benefitting. And through which I made some lasting friendships (Refreshers, I love you too!).
My city, Glasgow, has benefited hugely from European funding and projects, whether for employment and development projects or for profile-raising initiatives like the “European Capital of Culture” in 1990.
The UK: good for Europe
The European Union is by no means perfect. It needs a lot of work. I believe the UK can help make it better, and counterbalance the worrying tendencies that have emerged recently in some Member States – but it can only do so from within.
I’m deeply proud to be British and Scottish. And I’m proud to be European too. Europe is part of who I am and what I do. I want us to remain as members of the European Union and to work to make it better and fairer.
Your thoughts and comments, as always, are very welcome!
There is a really good objective analysis of the claims and counterclaims from Micheal Dougan on the University of Liverpool facebook page (you’re not related are you?).
Thanks, Anne, I’ll take a look at that. No, he’s no relation.
It saddens me that so much has been made of what may be wrong with the EU and not all the big and little things it has brought into our lives. I went to a show at the Edinburgh Festival a couple of years ago; now, while it was painfully unfunny, verging on cringeworthy, the guy (an EU suit) was trying to play up all the great things EU does and play down, through comedy, the hype. He failed in the funny side but I did come away from it realizing just how much our vision of Europe and its institutions is seriously skewed by the sensationally negative headlines that bear little connection to what actually goes on.
I fully agree. In my experience the EU, for all its flaws, has enriched us (culturally as well as economically).
I agree with you wholeheartedly.I’ve just moved abroad (again) and possibly just in time. The “little England” mentality is so alien to me and I’m appalled at the tone of the campaigns. It makes me ashamed to be British. My three children are Europeans UK passports and living in various European countries. They’re now considering applying for citizenship where they live. European friends in the UK are also worrying. It is so sad.
There has however never been much public support for the EU in the UK and this has allowed all those ridiculous myths to be perpetuated.
Great analysis, I totally agree with your points. European Union i far from perfect as you say, but it has it´s advantages. I wish UK decided to stay…