Today, we had a meeting with the master students of University Babes Bolyai and with Madam Alina Peloa. They're in a master program of Conference Interpreting. They made a session of exemplary 'conference interpreting' for us. At first, Alina Peloa read a paragraph which was about their program in Romanian, and the students took notes rapidly and then they interpreted it in French. Then everyone has introduced themselves and they did it simultaneously in English. We were all surprised by their speed.
After the interpretation, we asked questions about the European Union. One of the students said that she has danced for couple of years and they used to travel with the group to other countries for competitions and events when Romania wasn't part of the EU. She describes the paperwork which is necessary to get the visa or for the passport as a "headache". After the accession to EU, it was much easier to participate the international competitions. They could easily travel to other countries without necessity of passports, but only by showing the ID’s. Not only was it convenience for travelling in a touristic way but also in a cultural way. To her, it changed the way she sees the rest of the world. She says that being part of EU has a really good influence on her generation. This is one of the aspects that they feel the most about accession.
In addition, she mentioned that the ethnic and cultural discrimination was worse before. After the EU accession, the way the people look at the minorities has changed. Before, there was a discriminative attitude. Minorities avoided speaking in their native language. Now, this attitude hasn't disappeared, still some people look them "strangely" but it's in a better situation. It has developed through the years.
The youth, the new generation has grown up with these approaches so EU has a very positive effect on discrimination. According to her, the abolition of the borders has provided the abolition of boundaries in a cultural way.
Another student had a different approach. She has been in Paris in 1999 when Romania wasn't part of the EU. The people she talked to didn't even know where Romania is or what kind of country it was but after the accession to EU, she went there again and everything was completely different. Their perspective was changed. Now, people says that they know Romania and its being a member of EU. The reputation is better than before.