I am a citizen of Europe

…or that’s what it feels like. I spent my last two weeks in southern Germany, near Stuttgart, and in Amsterdam, and this week I’m in Madrid. In between, I was home in Scotland, though only briefly. Yet none of these places are really foreign at all to me. I really do feel a citizen of Europe. Yes, it’s about 14 degrees hotter here than in Scotland, yes, the languages are different (I was eating in an Italian restaurant in Amsterdam, and I found myself quite unable to decide which language to address the waiter in). And it was fun to be in Holland when they beat Uruguay (what a night that was – thousands of people streaming out of the Vondelpark all dressed in orange); or to be in Germany when Germany saw England off (that was a good match: but we were quietly talking in German in the bar where we were watching!). And even though I’m in Spain, I was in Scotland for the world cup  final (rather too physical a match for me – thought the referee had a really difficult match to do, and coped well). And now I’m here for another conference, this one here, last one in Sao Luis, Brazil, before that in Lesvos, in Stirling (I ran that one), in Berlin, in Vienna …: there is something to be said for being a Prof in a truly international field: and that’s why I feel a citizen of Europe. But why not of the world? Well, the only other non-european countries I’ve been to are the US and Brazil (discounting a trip to teach in Algeria a long time ago), and I really did feel different there.

So, yes, I’m a citizen of Europe. Now, does that mean I’m supporting an EU passport, or Europe as a nation state?  There’s reasons why the passport mght be a good idea, but I do think the nation state has had its day.


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