Alicja, Poland

My first memory of the European Union is the “European picnic” organised in my primary school in May 2004 to commemorate Poland’s accession to the European community. Obviously, back than I was rather oblivious to the significance of that event. I only recall that it was a sunny day and that my class was representing the Netherlands. Me and other two classmates presented a Dutch folk dance dressed in colourful traditional dresses. Actually, everything that day was colourful and, though it might sound childish, until this day ‘colourful’ is my first association with the EU. The European map with each country in a different colour, the plethora of colours when the flags of all member states are assembled together, the modern multicoloured building of my faculty co-financed by the EU. At last, a more complex kind of colourfulness – the varying landscapes of numerous countries I can visit any time I want to; the astounding diversity of people who, together with me, create the European community and the right of every European to free self-expression.

Finally, I arrived at better understanding of the European Union when I took part in Erasmus+ program in Germany. The ability to study in another European country and make friends with young people from other member countries has opened my eyes to the very sense of the European integration and has broadened my horizons. For this reason, I decided to once again take part in this programme two years later. Today I’m a European volunteer working in a French organisation promoting the idea of united Europe, getting to know another EU- country and learning a new language. These experiences made me feel a true member of this colourful international community and a conscious citizen of the EU.

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