Generation Schengen

by Michela Turrina
To us, tra­vel­ling around Europe, boo­king a train ticket for a city close by or for a city at the other side of Europe is equally easy: just a cou­ple of clicks. Howe­ver, it has not always been like that. Nowa­days, we can enjoy this easy way of tra­vel­ling thanks to the Schen­gen agree­ment. Such agree­ment is con­si­de­red one of the hugest suc­ces­ses of Euro­pean inte­gra­tion, second only to the long las­ting peace that the con­ti­nent is wit­nessing since 1945.


Today I was in the mood for ano­t­her cup of cof­fee. Soon I was tal­king to a young guy next to me. “What does the word “Europe” mean to you?”, I asked. “To be honest”, he ans­we­red, “I do not quite get the con­cept. I mean thin­king of Europe I see bureau­cracy, unne­cessary regu­la­tion, lack of trans­pa­rency. It’s not even that this is my opi­nion”, he added, “but I do not really know anything about it. And to search the inter­net for long explana­ti­ons — I neit­her feel like doing that, nor have time for it.”

Paris sunrise

Paris — Berlin: Alike unalikes

Having some­thing in com­mon” does not mean “being the same”. This is the more true for Paris and Ber­lin: Both cities have a lot in com­mon. They are glo­bal play­ers, defi­ning them­sel­ves over art and cul­ture, eco­nomy and poli­tics. In these cities dreams are being born and some­ti­mes mate­ria­lize. At the same time these pla­ces sym­bo­lize a dream for many people: To visit the city or even live in it is a dream many people share.