Ivan’s private site

February 4, 2008

Europe: the nationality of a First Lady

Filed under: General,Links — Ivan Herman @ 9:54

One of the nice and also interesting aspects of the European Union is that people take many of its advantages for granted. At a time when “Euroscepticism” has a certain (in my view, unjustified) popularity, it is worth reminding people about small things (like the Shengen agreement) that are really part of our life in a unified Europe, and the advantages it bears.

Living as a European national in another European Union country has become the most natural thing of all. I live in the Netherlands with a French passport, my colleague with whom I share an office is a British national; I have several colleagues (French, German, Dutch, Italian) who do not live in the country of their origin. And, administratively, this has become a breeze, not much more complicated as moving to another province (yeah, it is not all that rosy, the “portability” of pensions, for example, is not yet solved, but there is progress).

This week-end has seen a highly visible case. The current French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has married a woman called Carla Bruni. The publicity around this took (in my view) a completely ridiculous turn in the French people magazines, but I did find one interesting aspect of the whole story. Indeed, the new First Lady in France is… an Italian national! I wonder whether she would be asked to take the French nationality; I sincerely hope not. There is absolutely no reason: her presence in that position is just another proof that, well, Europe works…


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