The same year that Poland joined the EU, I moved to Sweden for my Erasmus*. For the first time , I was able to travel outside of my country without passing any border control, without having to get a visa and without having someone look inside my luggage upon my arrival. For the first time, I felt truly welcome somewhere else than home. I do not remember the Communist era that much, but I do remember the 90s in Poland. Until then and for a long time, we were basically not allowed to travel or exchange much with the “Western European” part. The day we joined we became part of the EU was almost a national festival.
(Karolina works as a legal officer at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.)
*The Erasmus is a European Union student exchange programme established in 1987.