The one who loved her people

– The one who loved her people –

12 : 67 . Honestly, all of these vegetables remind me of Albania – and at the same time none of them seems good enough compared to the ones we have at home. There is a reason why Southern Europe is famous for its food !

Eugena is from Albania and is one of the few non-EU citizens working at the European Parliament in Brussels, where she is the parliamentary assistant of an Estonian member.

– Of course Albanians consider themselves European. Europe needs all of its countries, that is why I don’t understand the questioning around countries ‘deserving or not’ to be part of the EU. We are all European. To be fair, when looking at the the criteria set for accession, let’s say that we are not performing very well.* We went through a long and harsh period of communism that really affected the state of our country and institutions, so what I believe in is that integration could actually help bring people together under one umbrella. Personally, it also feels a bit weird thinking that I am not a European citizen, when I feel so European.
If I had to pick between being a politician back home or here – I would do it at home, that is why I am not a politician here but working for one. I have this theory that if all driven Albanians leave for new experiences – who is going to make Albania ‘better’ ? So, I came to Brussels for a new experience and I love it here, I am very pro-European, but I do miss Albania a lot. And I feel there is still a lot to be done there.
Only when I left my country did I realise what I appreciated in it. I especially miss ‘my people’.
I don’t know why I don’t feel comfortable talking about Albanians, it is probably because I think they are pretty awesome – but by saying that I am implying that I am too – and I don’t feel comfortable saying that about myself.
I don’t know what to say, Albanians are just ‘my people’. (She smiles)

(*Albania, alongside Western Balkans countries, (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo) have an EU accession perspective. Countries wishing to join the European Union must have: stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities | a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces in the EU | the ability to implement effectively the obligations of membership.)1. Eugena

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