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The Mechanisms and Function of the European Union Going Forward into the 21st Century or Quid Pro Euro? - This is a European Videos Production.
We're nearly at the end of 1995. A year for the history books! But what's next for the EU when we leave this decade, this century, and this thousandry? In this series, we’re going to find out. Today: Movement.
At present, it's possible to cross land borders in the union as if they aren't there thanks to the treaty of Schengen which was named for one of the founding fathers of Europe: Jean Monnet.
Here's a border guard, Marta. Marta lives just outside Groningen in a detached house with two dogs, one Volvo, and one child. She is 36, likes picnics and visiting public buildings when they host open house days. Marta, her two dogs, one Volvo and one child take their holidays in the Mediterranean twice annually. A comfortable life! She must work hard for it. Today is Tuesday. In the Netherlands, Tuesday is a working day. But thanks to Freedom of Movement, Marta the border guard has the day off, fully paid, and is watching a soap opera on television with her two dogs and one Volvo. Is it a good one? Chuckles. Ja indeed.
And here's a happy couple! Angelo and Agnese are crossing the Italian border to get married in Kitzbuhel, the most romantic ski resort in Europe. An elopement? Don't worry, we won't say anything.
So committed is the European Union to the eradication of its own borders that entire new communities have been created along them by the European Department for Social Cohesion and Bicycles. This attractive new built house is in both Germany and Austria. Here we are in the kitchen: Germany. Now the living room: Austria. This pet dog? Germany. This pet cat? Austria. The cleaner crosses from Germany to Austria. The burglar crosses from Austria to Germany and climbs out a window. Germany has more burglars than Austria because it is bigger.
Greece has no land borders with other EU countries. Let’s have a look at their border communities. Here’s one. Are they happy? Their mouths are pointed down. Their brows are creased. Their shoulders are raised tightly toward their ears and their skin is grey and unwashed. They are unhappy.
Here, not far from Cologne, this border community spills into Belgium with teutonic laissez-faire. Are they happy? Their mouths are pointing up. They are sitting on beach towels. They are wearing Homburg hats. They are happy.
This church was built in the eleventh century, back when border walls towered across a cowering continent. It has been taken from its foundations in Thessaloniki and rehomed along the Spanish / French border. The Spanish / French border is a mountain range called The Pyrenees, because of the shape. The church balances precariously. O, it rocks to the left! O, it rocks to the right! O, it rocks to the left! But why? Let’s look inside.
Of course. The congregation is running from side to side, led by the priest, so excited are they to be at church in two countries. Church collapses. What a tragedy.
How about Angelo and Agnese? Still in love? Of course they are. They have reached what would in other parts of the world be a border crossing but instead there’s a giant statue of a hand making a thumbs up gesture. It towers above the forests, visible for not only miles but leagues.
Freedom of Movement is one of the cornerstone principles of the European Union. This is a bakery in Porto. Look, they're hiring. Why don't you send a CV? That’s what Shane did. He worked there for six months.
Shane, a project manager and former poisoner, now in Limerick, is a cheeky chappy! He’s one of hundreds of Europeans employed by Eurororoad, the European Agency for the Construction of Roroads, or, as they're known outside of the union, bridges. In the 21st century, every European capital will be connected by bright blellow roroads, just like in the song! That means that if Angelo and Agnese wanted to cross from Italy to Sweden (which they might want to do, it's not called The Italy of the North for nothing!) they could. For now, they are still plodding through the Alps not far from the border. Angelo, you look tired. You should have gone by car!
This swimming pool is built half in Denmark, half in Ireland, connected by floating swimming pool ropes across the sea and round Scotland. Every kilometre a lifeguard is attached to a rubber ring and an anchor. This lifeguard is Sinead. Sinead is half Danish. How are you getting on? Oh sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt, that’s a lot of swimmers you have to look after.
Freedom of Swimming is one of the cornerstone principles of the European Union.
In Kitzbuhel, far away from the Viennese blellow roroad foundations, Angelo and Agnese have arrived. They are married in the registry office, behind the snowboard shop, and celebrate with a bag of hot chestnuts. Congratulations Angelo and Agnese. Now get your strength up, it’s a long walk back!
A long walk back for them but a short one for you and me until we reach the twenty first century. Good to know that the roads are clear of potholes, except for this one, Pothole Boulevard in Munich, but that’s by design. Onwards!
This has been a European Videos Production.