Wednesday October 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
26o C
17o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
So, who is a European?

By Nikos Konstandaras

In a resolution approved by an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament on Thursday declared that EU citizenship “should never become a tradable commodity.” The resolution – which passed with 560 in favor, 22 opposed and 44 abstentions – is focused on Malta, which is considering granting passports to foreigners willing to invest 1.15 million euros in the small EU member. Other countries offering residence permits in exchange for investments include Britain, Cyprus, Latvia and Portugal. In Greece, investments of over 250,000 euros open the way for a residence permit.

The European Parliament’s resolution raises several important questions – chiefly: Who has the right to EU citizenship? Until recently, the reply depended on geography: If your country was part of the European continent and was accepted into the bloc by its member states, then you too became part of the great EU community. With a large number of immigrants arriving from outside the EU, however, things became more complicated. Some countries adopted policies which offered citizenship to people after a certain period of legal residence, while others, like Greece, chose indifference, leaving immigrants and the rest of society to fend for themselves without a serious framework.

A friend’s story is most illuminating. Born in India, he studied in Germany, married a Greek woman, lived in Greece for many years and raised two children here. Despite this, each year he was forced to apply for a residence permit. When he was transferred to Brussels, after five years he was granted a Belgian passport. To a great extent, the answer to the question “Who has the right to EU citizenship?” is “the lucky ones” – those who were born in a country that is an EU member, or who emigrated to a country that tries to deal with immigration on a serious basis.

Thursday’s vote highlights the fact that members of the European Parliament believe that there is a European citizenship. “EU citizenship implies the holding of a stake in the Union and depends on a person’s ties with Europe and the member states or on personal ties with EU citizens,” the resolution noted. But among those who have EU citizenship are extremists in many countries who see citizens of other EU member states as lower beings – and some of them consider violence against immigrants to be justified. Wherever they may have been born, these people drink from the same well of racism. They are planning a united front against the common enemy – the Union itself. Europe, in other words, is in greater danger from its own citizens and policies (especially those that exacerbate national differences) than new citizens.

Each country has its own conditions for citizenship, and because this is the basis for EU citizenship, perhaps it is time for the bloc to adopt clear conditions for citizenship that will be based on humanism and solidarity. These are the EU’s foundations. Like all foundations, we remember them only when the construction is shaking.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jan 16, 2014 (22:04)  
Next-day jitters
No sweet debt deals
In the danger zone
Collective discipline
Would-be commissioner Avramopoulos sets out priorities on migration
Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner-designate for migration and home affairs, on Tuesday sought to set out his priorities for a post regarded as more crucial than ever amid increasing...
Money ring sent 4.5 mln abroad
Two Afghan employees at a currency exchange bureau in central Athens and a Greek alleged to own the establishment were detained on Tuesday in connection to the alleged illegal transfer of mo...
Inside News
NBG Pangaea eyes listing on foreign bourse, huge portfolio
Leading Greek property investment company NBG Pangaea is getting ready to spread its wings as it eyes the creation of a major portfolio worth up to 4 billion euros to be listed not only on t...
Out-of-control unpaid bills bring PPC to its knees
Public Power Corporation (PPC) is heading for a financial blackout as unpaid electricity bills are growing at an annual rate of 30 percent, having reached 1.7 billion euros at the end of Jul...
Inside Business
SOCCER
All team sports suspended next weekend in memory of dead fan
The government announced on Monday the suspension of all team sports events in Greece scheduled for next weekend, October 4 and 5, in the memory of the Ethnikos Piraeus fan who died a few ho...
SOCCER
Karamanos punishes Michel for deeming him surplus
Atromitos forced Olympiakos’s first loss this season in all competitions on Saturday to allow PAOK to go alone on top of the Super League table on Sunday. Odds-on title favorite Olympiakos l...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. NBG Pangaea eyes listing on foreign bourse, huge portfolio
2. Out-of-control unpaid bills bring PPC to its knees
3. Banks feel optimistic ahead of stress test results
4. S&P upgrades OTE’s credit rating and revises outlook
5. Athens tourism fuels hotel occupancy
6. Would-be commissioner Avramopoulos sets out priorities on migration
more news
Today
This Week
1. Next-day jitters
2. Roma camp off Mesogeion Avenue set for demolition amid reactions
3. No sweet debt deals
4. Greek unemployment dips to 27 pct in June, but still highest in EU
5. Commissioner-designate Avramopoulos to face three-hour interview on EU's migration portfolio
6. Roma camp evacuation postponed; flow resumes on Mesogeion Avenue
Today
This Week
1. Greece may opt for unusual president to avoid snap polls, Venizelos says
2. Woman allegedly buried alive by accident in northern Greece
3. Salaries in Greece continue to slide, dipping 1.4 pct in Q2
4. Should you bet with Kissinger on where the world is heading?
5. Cypriots divided by 1974 war seek Shariah hub
6. The shocking thought of euro-dollar parity
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.