EU narrative

What is the European Way of Life, anyways?

We’re glad that on 13 November 2019 the European Commission decided to change the portfolio name from “Protecting our European Way of Life” to “Promoting our European Way of Life”

Margaritis Schinas, the Commissioner-designate for “Protecting our European Way of Life”, is not in charge yet but he is already swamped with emails, calls and owls from citizens, national governments and members of the wizarding community, all trying to help him defining what the European Way of Life is.

“Crusades, that’s what makes us Europeans”, say the Hungarians; “Hospitality is better, we opened our borders first”, reply the Austrians. Italians argued that hygiene is more important, and asked to make bidet compulsory in every European household.

Ok, why don’t we focus on something easier, like food and drinks?
“On a hot summer day nothing is better than hladna pića” say the Croatians, leaving the Slovaks rather shocked. Bulgarians insist on making Ajvar the only allowed spread in autumn, while Romanians prefer Zacuscă. “What’s the difference?” ask the Maltese, “a few slices of Gbejniet, that’s autumn”.

Seasonal traditions are important too…
“Jumping in a frozen lake after sauna is the best way to feel alive in winter”, insist the Finns, while the Cypriots caught a fever just imagining the scene. “German wine is the best way to welcome spring”, conclude the Germans, while the French can’t stop laughing. Swedes push for fika during the whole summer, “All three weeks of it!”. Slovenians would rather go fishing: “But our neighbours don’t let us enjoy this activity”.

Forget it. Maybe religion?
“The Inquisition was quite popular” suggest the Spaniards. “Catholicism!” shouts an Irish voice, but a group of Huguenots makes them shut up. …Christianity at least?
“Actually, we are proud of our original and natural-driven pagan festivities” whisper the Latvians. “And have you ever heard of Greek and Latin culture?”

Ok, let’s keep searching… The portfolio contains the dossier on refugees, migration and asylum policy… Maybe Islamophobia?
“Well, it is one of the main fear that we spread” Poland says. “Actually, we are scared of anybody who hears voices or believes in books written thousands of years ago”, say the Czechs: “The fact that you can be atheist without risking your life makes us proud to be European”.

“Anyone else here is afraid of the Russians?” ask the Lithuanians. “Not really, they are so far away” reply the Portuguese. “Winter would be very cold without them and our bank accounts empty” shout a few extreme-right political parties.

“What about investments?”, suggests Luxembourg
“You mean exploitation?” reply the Greeks
“Embracing the digital age?” propose the Estonians vigorously
Danes approve but the Belgians run to look up the term “digital” in the printed version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

No input from the Dutch?
“We’re rolling some home-made cigarettes. Weed is what you need if you really want to embark in this discussion”

“These are just silly stereotypes, good for satire, but nothing else”, say the Europeans. “We are more than the sum of our parts: accepting, appreciating and overcoming our differences, this is what made us unique in the last decades.”

We hope this post helps the discussion.
Good work to you, Commissioner Schinas. Your portfolio is a very sensitive one, acting and communicating properly on these matters is vital for the future of our beloved Union!

P. S. If you feel that “Protecting our European Way of Life” is an unsettling name, it means you actually do have a European way of life.
P. P. S. Meanwhile, melancholic Brits are sipping their tea, nostalgically thinking: “We’ll miss all the funny conversations!”

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