Our Desk | European Union, a doomed cause

Julie Zhu

It is not the intention of this piece to either hurt someone’s feelings or provoke anyone. As an outsider to the European Union, I would like to share my experience with the European Union, some of the “European united policies”, and, especially, with the fortified culture and “persona” of each country.
Before I start, I hope all readers know that I am like all of you: my opinion is restricted and confined due to my family background, my social background, my cultural background, my education, and the people I have met.
Furthermore, my opinion is likely to be completely wrong, since I have no way to thoroughly attest to or confirm it. However, I have learned that, in the so-called democratic and liberal society, an artist who has failed maths, physics, and geography in school might end up being faithfully and loyally followed by people who believe the world is whatever said artist says it is.
Therefore, allow me the noble right of taking the liberty to assume that, regardless of how stupid my opinion sounds, people will still respect my right to express it.
That said, why do I consider the European Union a doomed cause? Many other people have endless opinions on this topic. I will share my experience from one perspective: visa policies for tourists.
I have been to a small village in the European Union four times in total; a small village in Portugal. I have also been to the Lisbon airport a total of eight times. Unlike some people who have been to Beijing and Shanghai and believe they have already seen everything in China, I consider myself to have never “actually” been to Portugal, nor the European Union.
Before each of those four visits, I had to apply for a tourist visa. From my own perspective, if I want to go to other people’s place, I should not judge or compare their policies, lifestyle, culture or norms with my own. I always compare a country with other countries aside from my own. If you eat meat, you eat your meat. If you are a vegetarian, you are a vegetarian. A meat eater does not have to agree with or even respect the vegetarian, and vice versa, but both individuals must accept that they are different, but I digress.
When I applied for the Schengen visa, I did not have, still do not have, and will not have any thoughts on how the process may be worse or better than in my place.
I have applied for several kinds of visas in order to visit some developed countries. The Schengen visa is the only one requiring an applicant to submit a birth certificate issued within six months. I still have no clue why a birth certificate must be younger than six-months old to testify for an applicant. For me, this is one bit of proof of the rigid mindset of the European Union. Furthermore, Schengen countries asked me to book a round-
trip flight and show the proof of purchase when applying for the visa. No flight tickets, no EU visa.
Like I said before, I compare the Schengen visa to other visas, for example, the US visa, the UK visa, the Canadian visa, the Australian visa, or the New Zealand visa. None of these countries demand the aforementioned two documents.
I just wish someone could help me understand how these two documents help the European Union to confirm what it is that they want to confirm about a tourist.
I am nonetheless very happy to be able to provide the Schengen countries with the documents they ask for. But it just made me wonder: what kind of different “controlling” and “regulatory” thinking does the European Union zone have?

Categories Opinion