Schengen or not for Bulgaria and Romania?
Bulgaria and Romania are going to join the Schengen area soon. However, some of the Old Europe's countries were opposed to this accession, and had already managed to postpone the date. They also tried to apply some limitations in the hosting of these new unemploy... labor!
The accession into the Schengen area will be done in two stages. In September 2011, air control at borders will disappear from both countries. Next year, it should be the same for land and sea borders. This formula was proposed by Germany with the consent of France, the Netherlands and Finland, however, previously opposed the accession of candidate countries in the space of free movement. The final decision must be taken on Sept. 23 at the meeting of interior ministers of EU member states.
Originally scheduled for March 2011, the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area has been postponed. Indeed, the Ministers of Interior French and German have sent a joint letter last December to the European Commission, saying the two countries had not made sufficient progress in the fight against corruption and crime. This decision provoked strong reactions in both countries.
For Maria Nedelcheva, Bulgarian Euro-deputy (EPP), the membership criteria for the two candidates are not the same as for other member states: "Bulgaria and Romania must meet certain technical criteria. The reports show that these criteria are actually met. What upsets me is that the debate in addition to other elements that have nothing to do with the issue of entry into the Schengen area. In this case, one wonders if there is no double standard. All other member countries of the Schengen area were judged solely by reference to technical criteria come into play here when other criteria such as the mechanism for cooperation and verification on the reform of the judiciary or the Roma issue. I propose to do things in perspective and apply the same criteria of selection for these two new candidate countries. "
Euro-deputy for the Romanian Cristian Dan Preda (EPP): "The Romanian authorities had focused on technical reports. These reports on border management were satisfactory for Romania. Most of the Romanian authorities estimated that the refusal was not justified”. 1
Reports show that Bulgaria and Romania meet the criteria for membership. Germany, France and the Netherlands must now deliver concrete results in struggle against corruption and organized crime.
Another concern regarding the accession of both countries would be linked to transit via Bulgaria illegal immigrants from third countries arriving from the Greek border or Turkey. To protect its borders, the U. E. plans to send border and customs services to Bulgarian and Romanian borders to monitor the passage control. 2
Whatever the decision of the EU, the Netherlands will limit access to the Dutch labor market and implement work restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian. To receive a work permit, the Bulgarian and Romanian citizens will have to pass "a test special work" is to check if there is no priority Dutch candidate for the same position. The European Commission does not oppose this decision. Indeed, such verification existed before July 1 and had concluded that the Dutch government was strict in the application of restrictions. 3
Finally, the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk at the European Parliament has supported the entry of both countries to the Schengen area. Like Hungary, Poland, having taken over EU presidency for the second half of 2011, emphasizes the importance and gives priority to the accession of both countries in the area of free movement.
by Valya Ivanova
1 : Interviews done during an Euradionantes topic.
2 : Bulgaria inside Schengen Borders, by Nikola Lalov, on July 6th 2011, Mediapool.bg
3 : Integration of Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen area blocked, Agency Focus news on June 27th 2011.
The ERASMUS Programme – studying in Europe and more
The Erasmus Programme is an European Union student exchange programme established in 1987. It is the EU's flagship education and training programme enabling 200 000 students to study and work abroad each year. The programme not only fund students, but also professors and business staff who want to teach abroad, as well as helping university staff to receive trainings.
Many studies show that a period spent abroad not only enriches students’ lives in the academic and professional fields, but can also improve language, intercultural skills, self-reliance and self-awareness. Their experiences give the students a better sense of what it means to be a European citizen. In addition, many employers highly value such a period abroad, which increases the students’ employability and job prospects.
Name: Oana Stoian
Age: 25 years old
Home town: Husi, Romania
University: Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Iasi, Romania
Erasmus experience: Faculty of Theology in Lausanne, Switzerland
Hobby: Outdoor life, reading and music
For Oana, the Erasmus year she spend at Lausanne University was one of the best experiences in her life. When she finished her Bachelor degree, she decided to spend her first academic year of the Master degree as an Erasmus student. The challenge is to live far away from her country for a couple of months, to improve her French, to meet new people and new cultures. Oana wanted to develop her personality and her knowledge about Protestant faith, to discover and explore a foreign university campus, their library and their "way" of learning and teaching. The procedure to apply for the Erasmus programme is to send a CV, letter of motivation, to have good study grades and to know the language spoken in the country where you would like to study in. In connection with the application there is also an interview. It contains grammar test and a conversation with the academic commission in charge of Erasmus programme in her university in Romania. Oana can choose between spending 9 months in France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Norway, Great Britain, Austria, Greece or Denmark. The choice is difficult.
Where did you choose to go for your Erasmus?
I was in Switzerland at the Faculty of Theology in Lausanne but I also had classes in two other beautiful cities namely Geneve and Neuchatel. I was surprised when I found out that at their Faculty of Theology there are not so many students, as in my country. For example, we were only 15 students at the Master degree from 3 Universities and 4 Erasmus students (3 from Germany and me from Romania); in first year of the Bachelor there were only 4 students.
Which advantages did you enjoy during your Erasmus stay?
First of all, I could choose the subjects I was interested in. I also had the opportunity to choose 2 different French classes as foreign language. There was also a big and rich library with a very good program from 8 a.m to 10 p.m. where you could borrow 15 books for one month. Comparing to my country where the written exams are 2 hours, in Switzerland we had double time for the same thing. I met very interesting people from different countries, I got to know new cultures and all this enriched my knowledge and open my vision of the world. While I was there I was travelling a lot. One of the very positive things I saw at the university was the relation between teacher and students. There is a lot of respect, communication and exchange between us.
Eur@dioNantes - the first European Radio in France
In 2007 the first European radio started to broadcast in French, English and German. Based in Nantes in France, Eur@dioNantes is a school radio where young people from all over Europe come to exchange ideas and learn more on how to make radio speech about Europe.
As its name suggests Eur@dioNantes is a European radio located in Nantes, France. When I heard of this media one year ago, I told myself that it is interesting to see how Europe could be seen and presented by young people from all corners of the old world. But to understand better what I mean, here is a little more information about Eur@dioNantes.
Everything started in 2005 when the referendum on the European constitution put Europe at the heart of the debate. The French journalist Laurence Aubron already working with many foreign students as part of a radio station in Nantes, decides that the information about the European issue deserves to be treated differently. The idea is brilliant but the creation and realization of the radio takes time. The President of Arte France, Jerome Clement, becomes official sponsor of the first European radio-school. Local partners also support the project.
Eur@dioNantes gets its proper frequency in the region of Nantes on 101.3 FM. Meanwhile, the website is already available online and to listen to the radio you just type www.euradionantes.eu. In 2007 first international team of journalists started broadcasting in EuradioNantes. What does it mean? Why an European radio in France? It is not just the editorial line that focuses on Europe.
The objectives are to highlight European information, offer local information with an European sensibility, giving greater visibility to all innovative projects in Europe, enhance the emerging European artistic creation. The students who work there come from all the European countries. There are journalists supervisors who train students.
The mission is to understand local realities and confront them with data to open wider perspectives and explore its economic, social, political and cultural components. Eur@dioNantes is a school radio, which makes European students journalists and teach how to deal with European information.
The working languages are mainly French and English but sometimes there are also issues carried out in German, the three official languages of the EU. Eur@dioNantes is part of the network Euranet therefore also broadcasts in several European languages.
In my team there were 10 people from France, England, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania and me from Bulgaria. I spent 6 months in Eur@dio where I learnt a lot.
My radio day started at 9:00 when I turned on my computer and I checked my mails, those were the first things everyone did at the radio. Afterwards I went to the sites of major European medias to locate the news item. At 9:30 the editors met for a half an hour. The editor distributed press releases to the press conferences of the day and discussed the main axes of all that is happening in Europe at that moment. This meeting is very important because it determines the result of the day – where should you go for interviews, who to call in Brussels, in Bulgaria or elsewhere in Europe. Then there is a lot of editing or you cut the sound, add our voice. I learnet how precious the time is on the radio. Every second counts enormously. I understand that to be a good journalist is to ask the right questions and you should also be able to interrupt the speaker if necessary.
I could feel the adrenaline and the anxiety until the last day. To prepare the newspaper or to co-animate requires discipline and organization that are modeled everyday piece by piece. I developed capacity for critical analysis and synthesis. It's great to work in radio, but it drains a lot of energy. Stress is also a core component of everyday work. Sometimes there are topics that you are not interested in but you have to realize them. What remains the greatest challenge and pleasure in my work was to show the other face of my country. When the French medias talk about Bulgaria, especially in the period of my stay in Nantes, it was often linked to Bulgarian Roma expelled, corruption or organized crime. I wanted to show the other side, the right projects, motivated, ambitious and very pro-European people. Eur@dio helped me to realize many interesting interviews : the Euro-deputies in Brussels, Kristalina Georgieva - European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis situations, singers, composers, journalists, researchers etc..
The future idea is to implement Eur@dio to other European cities and, eventually, we might consider developing a network of this type of European media. I hope one day Eur@dio will be broadcasting in my country Bulgaria, and maybe in Poland too?
by Valya Ivanova