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Do people genuinely feel they are a 'European Citizen'? And why?

(189 Posts)
mrsvilliers Fri 01-Jul-16 19:54:01

Genuinely interested and not having a dig at anybody. This has come up on my social media a lot recently and culminated today in DM informing me she had managed to dredge up an Irish relative from somewhere which meant she could apply for an Irish passport. When I asked her why she informed me she was a European citizen and want to remain one. Fair enough but I am genuinely baffled. I speak two European languages, have travelled, worked and lived extensively in Europe and would never refer to myself as a European citizen. European yes, in that I am not African or Asian or North/South American etc but not in reference to being a citizen. Honestly genuinely interested and can't ask on social media as would get flayed!!

Thefuturecouldbebright Fri 01-Jul-16 19:55:51

I have never thought of myself as 'european' I am glad to have them
As neighbours, but have always considered myself british... Not nationalistic or anything, just how I identify and always have.

Thefuturecouldbebright Fri 01-Jul-16 19:58:43

I would just like to add, that I also consider everyone who chooses britain as their home British too.

GraceGrape Fri 01-Jul-16 19:59:46

I've also lived and worked in Europe. I have many European friends. I just consider myself to be European.It's hard to define but I always feel more "at home" travelling in Europe than America for example. Maybe a shared history has something to do with it?

treaclesoda Fri 01-Jul-16 20:02:08

I don't know about feeling like a European citizen as such, but I kind of like the idea. I am from Northern Ireland and in terms of identity, I don't feel British and I don't feel Irish. I feel lost, that I don't fit in anywhere. Feeling European would be an improvement on that, I suppose.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 01-Jul-16 20:02:46

I don't identify as European (am Scottish), but I know I am. I have an EU passport, a EU health insurance card, I vote for the EU parliament...

I think from what you say your DM is rightly worried about losing the benefits of being an EU citizen.

sunnydayinmay Fri 01-Jul-16 20:03:15

Sort of. I am British, but my mother was born in another European country and I have lots of close family there. We regularly travel to France and Belgium, and DH works for a French company. I am as comfortable in Paris as London.

So, yes, I suppose I do.

alltouchedout Fri 01-Jul-16 20:03:48

Yes I do. I suppose the rights shortly to be taken away are a big part of that. Being European is as important to me as being British. I like being part of something much bigger than one nation.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Fri 01-Jul-16 20:06:13

Yes I do. I would describe myself as British or English - but I have EU on my passport (for now hmm ) and I definitely feel (felt) like a European citizen. That's what being in the EU means.

mrsvilliers Fri 01-Jul-16 20:06:26

treacle I think that's my problem! What with being British in Ireland and Irish in Britain maybe I haven't had time to add European into the mix grin

gracegrape that's interesting, for me it's the other way round, working in Canada felt more familiar to me but also now I'm thinking about it so did Mexico! Perhaps I am an odd one.

whydidhesaythat Fri 01-Jul-16 20:06:58

Because of the intoxicating freedom I have to go and live in any of these extraordinary countries.
Iremember how delighted I was when the Czechs joined smile

bkgirl Fri 01-Jul-16 20:08:45

I do feel British & Irish and also European and I voted leave. I love Europe I just don't like the EU which is an organisation. I also am fearful of the superstate EU.

WidowWadman Fri 01-Jul-16 20:10:59

I identify as a European first, German second, British third. As someone who moved abroad over a decade ago I don't feel fully German anymore, but having lived the first 25 years of my life in Germany I won't ever be fully British no matter what my passports say.

Threepineapples Fri 01-Jul-16 20:12:16

Mrsvilliers you are a European citizen - if you were born after 1992 you've been one since you were born, otherwise you gained it as part of the Maastricht treaty smile

Whether or not you particularly care about being one, or losing your European citizenship, when we leave the EU, is another matter.

Personally I feel very strongly about losing my EU citizenship.

BombadierFritz Fri 01-Jul-16 20:12:17

I am definitely not british, or english, other than by birth and residence. I'm northern and then northern european excluding uk by attitude and outlook. I am so pissed off at getting thrown out of the eu by my fellow brits

BessieBraddocksEgg Fri 01-Jul-16 20:14:14

I feel more at home in north America than Europe in some ways. So no I don't particularly identify as European.

mupperoon Fri 01-Jul-16 20:14:31

It was the first thing I thought about on Friday morning, and I was shocked at how deeply upset I am that this vote will take my EU citizenship away. I was deeply concerned about the economy, the political fallout and the social impact, but the idea of no longer being part of the EU hit me much more viscerally than I would have thought.

I have worked in several EU countries and speak 3 other languages (poorly). In the UK I've worked for multinationals with many European colleagues. I consider myself English, British and European. I am proud to carry an EU passport because despite its faults, its aims are generally benevolent in an almost unprecedented way historically. I am so frustrated and sad to be losing this part of my life, and afraid that my daughter won't benefit from the advantages and opportunities it offered everyone.

BelfastBloke Fri 01-Jul-16 20:14:46

I'm proud to be a European citizen. I believe the EU - DESPITE ITS MANY FAULTS - has been a force for peace and stability on our continent.

The more you know about war, the more you want to prevent it. That founding ideal of the EU is beautiful.

Also, on a macro level the EU has been a bulwark against certain dodgy US, Chinese, Russian ideals. All of us are anti-death penalty, for example, and our pharmaceuticals can no longer be used in US executions. This has reduced executions in the USA, and strengthened anti death penalty groups.

Archfarchnad Fri 01-Jul-16 20:19:04

Of course, and fortunately I'm not in the UK so will not be affected by Brexit at all. I'm one European nationality, DH is another, we live in a third country and DD1 is about to study in a fourth. The DC had three passports apiece, DH and I have two. Both DC have gone to international schools with an average of 15 nationalities in each class. I think that qualifies us as a fairly European family.

So sorry for all you Brits who are going to be affected by this.

Itinerary Fri 01-Jul-16 20:20:16

I don't think of myself as a European citizen. British, and then EU citizenship with all it entails was superimposed over that in 1992. So officially a European citizen, but it wasn't by choice and I was quite happy without it.

tilder Fri 01-Jul-16 20:22:05

Not any moresadsad and a bit angry

It feels vulnerable. And poor. Poor in so many ways.

Mistigri Fri 01-Jul-16 20:22:09

I've worked in Europe for more years than I worked in the UK. I don't feel very British any more, but I'm not any other nationality either. I am fluent in two european languages and can get by in three others. I feel European more than British.

There's a practical/ legal aspect here too: although I have no doubts that I will be allowed to remain in my host country, if I am no longer European I may lose the right to move and work elsewhere. I think it is safe to say that I am very attached to my european citizenship.

tulipgrower Fri 01-Jul-16 20:24:41

I feel European. I have roots in several European countries. I enjoy the best of living in the EU every day. I live on an inner European border, my husband works across the border. Life is much simpler with one currency and no border checks any more. I manage a group with 10 different nationalities, mostly from across the EU. We can take interesting assignments anywhere across the EU, without any time consuming overhead. I have worked in the past on EU funded research projects. We use English as our common language but I find it enriching to learn about the traditions, habits and a few words of each nation. I appreciate the protection of workers rights, improvement in environmental laws and the social concept of supporting areas of Europe which are less fortunate to help even out social inequality. And I particularly like that the EU ensures peace across Europe. It saddens me that the UK is leaving.

lapsedorienteerer Fri 01-Jul-16 20:32:55

Lived in a European country for 5.5 years and definitely felt very European (and proud to be so) at the time. Been back in the UK for 8 years and although 'British' my overseas experience makes me still feel Europeansmile

Threepineapples Fri 01-Jul-16 20:37:48

mrsvilliers genuine question, when you lived / worked in Europe how aware did you feel of your right to be there?

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