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What Europe Means To Me, March 2015

6 March 2015
A man standing behind a lectern, next to a plasma screen.
A man and a woman sitting at a table.

Issues relating to the free movement of people / workers / students within the European Union, welfare benefits and immigration policies are rarely out of the news at the moment in many EU countries.

At this event, held at the Centre on 5 March, we invited fourteen young Europeans, who are currently full time or part time interns at the EDC, to debate on these themes from the perspective of a range of different countries. Dr Jo Hunt, Reader in Law at Cardiff Law School, gave a general introduction to the development of the concept of ‘free movement’ in the European Union. The event was chaired by Frederico Rocha.

Each speaker presented the situation in an EU Member State other than their own:

  • Denmark: Josephine Hebestreit
  • Ireland: Roberta Facchinetti Forlani
  • The Netherlands: Michal Czop
  • Poland: Franziska Fahrbach
  • Germany: Thomas Jaynes
  • Spain: Connor Mitchell
  • Romania: Abraham Whitworth
  • France: Carlos Sequeira
  • Italy: Kim Feldewerth
  • Lithuania: Luke Brett
  • United Kingdom: Anita Zalaldinova
  • Greece: Elisa Patassa
  • Sweden: Ryan Barker
A group of men and women sitting on chairs.

For each country there was often a series of unique features associated with history, geographical location and economic situation. In a week when the European Commission launched work on a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration, there was a general feeling that the EU needed to address some of the concerns that many European citizens felt on these issues, but in a spirit of solidarity and co-operation.

Finally, Giuliana Longworth spoke of the situation regarding refugees coming to EU countries seeking asylum. She highlighted that behind the statistics, there were human beings often with tales of extreme suffering, deprivation and violence as they sought a new life in Europe.

The presentations were followed by a debate with members of the forty-strong audience, and we ended the evening with a buffet.

The event was organised in cooperation with the Centre for European Law and Governance (CELAG) of the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University.

More photographs can be seen on our facebook page.