Moldova has been lately striving for becoming a member of the European family. Lots of efforts have been put into making this dream come true. And finally, a major movement has been made! On April 28, Moldova became the first country from the Eastern Partnership with a visa-free regime!
The best way to celebrate this unique day was to feel directly how is it to travel without requiring any visa. The Moldovan Government, together with the National Television has organized a competition for students – “Be the first in Europe without a visa”. 275 youngsters have written an essay, explaining why Moldova should be part of the European Union. On Monday, the 25 finalists, together with politicians, journalists and relatives of the Moldovans from the Diaspora, have traveled to Athens. Are you wondering why Athens? At the moment, Greece holds the European Presidency. Therefore, the best way of getting acknowledged to the European spirit was to go directly to its heart. Besides, Athens is known from Ancient times as being the place where democracy was born. But let’s come back to April 28!
The day started with a prodigious press-conference at the International Chisinau Airport, where the Premier Iurie Leancă, the former president of the European Delegation in Moldova – Dirk Shuebel, as well as the current one –Pirkka Tapiola have congratulated Moldovans for this new accomplishment!
We passed quickly through the passport control and got ready for a full day! As the plane took off, no more barriers or ranks existed – all the people where passengers of the same flight, called „Visa-free Plane”. Politicians had heart-to-heart discussions to everyone and the famous „seflies” became word of the day.
The Moldovans from Greece welcomed us and we continued our trip in Athens. We visited the famous Acropolis and the two guides retold us about the famous mythological events, that we’ve been told about as children. But I have to admit that it was rather difficult to fully understand the message of our Greek companions (who, by the way, spoke Romanian!), because the impressive monuments were catching all our attention.
But probably this was not by far the most touching part of our trip. The emotions of the Moldovans when meeting again their families, their relatives after years of separation have been the most soulfulness moments! Tears, hugs, smiles and new hopes have surrounded the historical center of Athens! We knew that this was just the beginning for a lot of reunions! And I felt proud that one more barrier has fallen, that we are one step closer to Europe!
As we moved on through the streets full of orange trees , suddenly a soaking rain began! Of course that the Greeks congratulated us on having the possibility to see all the spectrum of weather changes. And finally we got to the restaurant where Moldovan and Greek dishes were waiting for us. But the best part was to dance the traditional hora together! The joy of the visa-free regime was the same for everyone. It didn’t matter anymore if you’re a politician, a journalist, a student.
But as all good things, our small trip came to an end. Our flight back was again full of emotions, barefaced discussions and photos.
We arrived back home with the certainty that new possibilities have been given to us, but also duties. Now we have new forces for building up the European country we want to live in! And we have the possibility to travel much more easier!