So similiar, so different, so European

March 2, 2012

The European Commission recently released a short and rather sumptuous-looking video clip intended to sell Europeans on the idea that expanding the EU into those areas of Europe under consideration for entry into the union is a logical one.

“So similar, so different, so European” plays on Europe’s singular history, showing how ancient ruins in Greece, for example, pretty much look the same as they do in Albania. The message tries to strike a balance between the common heritage shared by all Europeans, and the importance of preserving the cultural flavors inherent to the region’s many ethnic groups and nationalities. Interestingly enough, Turkey gets rather prominent play, being compared to Germany, no less.

EU enlargement is a process that has clearly stalled, and given the current economic climate, questioning why someone would want to join such a floundering association is legitimate. “So similar, so different, so European” tries to answer that question with the long-term view, looking both forward and backwards in time to make its case.

One interesting point: Whether it was intended or not, the clip also serves, in the short-term, as a fine plea for visa-liberalisation efforts. Why shouldn’t the young Albanian girl seen frolicking in the ruins have a chance to do the same at the Acropolis? In fact, she can, because, after all, it’s all Europe.

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