A study done by the European Commission’s statistical office shows that Europeans are becoming more united than ever, at least when it comes to dating and mating. Reasons for this increased integration point to adoption of continent-wide standards for university degrees as well as a 25-year-old exchange program, Erasmus, that has long encouraged cross-border study and mobility. One German student remarked on his year-long stay in Poland: “[At] parties you talk about traditions, food, notions in your home country, and in the other person’s home country…[T]his common interest is what in [the] future will be a common European identity, or at least its basis.” More importantly, he now has a Polish girlfriend, with whom he will live in Berlin.
Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday
What’s the Big Idea?
Tensions created by the current eurozone crisis has created images of individual nations squabbling over pieces of Europe’s economic future. In times like these, cultural exchanges like Erasmus are even more important. European Commission spokesperson Dennis Abbott says, “In the past we were fighting each other, but the modern European identity is one of peace and solidarity.” He also says the increase in cross-national romances, while not an explicit goal, is “a lovely side effect.”