EYE 2021 is almost here and booking the tickets for the trip brings back some memories of the last edition. Three years ago, at the beginning of June, 2018, I arrived in Strasbourg for the first time.
Standing in front of the European Parliament I see many young people converging at the entrance. They’re all neatly standing in line and seem so excited, so emotional, like they were footballers impatiently waiting for the match to begin. I wonder if that’s what it really means to be active citizens, and in the meanwhile I get excited too.
I hear many languages spoken, I’m listening to some guys in front of me that are trying to repeat the same sentence in all the languages they know. I hear them shifting between French to German, from English to Spanish with no problems. They make it seem so easy: just like changing the channels on the television.
I’m stunned and I can’t wait to go inside the Parliament.
To meet so many different cultures and traditions is breathtaking. The possibility to discuss any issues with a peer from the other side of Europe thrills me. I hope my language skills are adequate to satisfy my curiosity and thirst for knowledge.
I turn to my fellow friends, we’re all feeling the moment. However, we’re all going to follow different events so that our association, RadUni, will be everywhere at every moment. I’m happy as a child. I put my badge around my neck and I’m ready to go. This is my first time and I need to follow closely the instructions of our guides Rossella and Alice.
The fact that we will also present our own activity moves me. We’ve done our best waiting for this moment and we all know our role. We’re more than ready to introduce Europhonica and our way of making journalism to the young Europeans.
EYE couldn’t present and define itself better. I literally run up and down the Parliament, moving from room to room, taking part in workshops, conferences, meetings.
What EYE left me is easy to describe: it made me feel part of a community I didn’t know I belonged to. And it was amazing.
One of the best moments of EYE 2018 was to find myself at the centre of the inner courtyard of the EP talking to unknown people of all nationalities, as we were long-life friends. As we were taking an ussie all together I felt the extent of the EU’s motto “Unity in Diversity”. I felt I belonged to something bigger and I understood that alone, but especially together, we can change things. We can aspire to a better Europe, much more inclusive and increasingly Our Europe.
I free my eyes from nostalgia and I look back to our trip planning. In a bunch of days I will explore all of these emotions again, with new fellow travelers, and I can’t wait.
Texts by: Martina Esposito
Francesco Saverio Della Monica
Translation by: Diana Russo