free movement vs libera circulatie  

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I’ve recently noticed a tweet that seems to indicate the Romanians are 3rd among EU countries least happy with free movement in Europe. That’s remarkable. Why would that be?

If we look at the graph tweeted by the @EU_Commission, though in every European country there are minor variations, everywhere more than two thirds are in favor. At the top, Germany, Spain, Finland, Latvia, Portugal, Estonia and Latvia have all approvals over 90%, whereas at the bottom, lower than Romania there’s only Italy and UK, each with 68%, and above Romania (72%) we have Austria (75%), then Denmark and Montenegro with 79%, while the EU28 as a whole scores 81%.

What gives? After all, Romania has the largest proportion of emigres – only Syria tops it.

I can think of the following possibilities:

  1. mostly grandmas. Whenever I’d visit Romania, grandma, would always tell to “come back home” and maybe other grandmas, left behind but still alive (unlike mine), are also listening to Trinitas and take those messages of avoiding “venetics” to heart.
  2. confirmation bias. Those who are open minded already left and those who are behind are not so excited about something that can’t or won’t take advantage of.
  3. fascism. The countries least happy with free movement are also countries where Hitler was popular (or with strong extreme right-wing movements in the 30s and 40s), with two exceptions: UK, which is the preferred destination of most migration and Germany, where the right was stifled and curtailed very severely that it’s now the main liberal cheerleader (I’m not complaining, just pointing out a fact). See also the great replacement theory / Richard Engel on Bill Maher

Meanwhile, a Belgian took advantage of free movement, sold everything at home and moved here and he’s now renovating the village clinic in Hăbud belonging to Șirna commune (small town).

It may also be something lost in translation: “free movement” means moving around the European Union without having to produce documents at the border, whereas its Romanian equivalent, “libera circulatie” may be referring to going to a foreign country and getting a job, which Romanians might not want others to do, as explained in a well-known fable.

Sources / More info: eu-twt, sptv-lambin

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