Romania Trip – Flying The Flag For The EU


This was a bit of a timely trip for me this one, and a timely post for anyone in the UK reading this. We’re about to have a vote on whether to remain as members of the EU or not. Problem being is that the only things we, in the UK, ever hear about the EU is all the negative stuff. From the insane fisheries policies to banning prawn cocktail crisps, the papers in the UK are more than ready to stick the boot into the system. It’s hard to see the good that it does. And then I visited Romania…

EU membership has benefitted the country hugely. Coming off the back of the communist era, the political classes (like most ex-soviet states) went on the take in a big way! The only protection for the people came with EU regulation weeding out the corruption. It’s still there, but by all accounts it’s a huge amount less than before and life can move forward for millions.

Romania’s also one of the greenest countries in Europe. Not sure whether this was hugely planned or just seemed to have happened by accident, but subsidies and geography have led to wind, solar, and geothermal energy powering huge swathes of the regions. The industries that are built up with EU funding have been in programming and cyber technology. In the centre of Timisoara city the public wi-fi is 50 times faster than mine in my flat in central London!

I have to point out that it’s not all roses being part of the EU for Romania right now. The labour market is really tough for employers. The younger generation have few problems with the idea of travelling around Europe to look for better jobs, better pay, and all the experiences that brings. The wineries we visited are having difficulties attracting and retaining younger staff to work hard and be the next step for the industry in the country. The theory is that over time economic entropy occurs and they won’t feel the need to emigrate. Right now it’s tough.

But overall it’s a very impressive advert for the good that the EU can bring. Can we all see the bigger picture, stay in, and do our best to cut the political fat?  We’ll see won’t we…




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