/ Does Poland count in Europe or is it ignored?
Hello, kind neighbors! First of all: I like Poland. I like the nature, the culture and the friendly people. My parents went on vacation in Poland some times and were really happy there.
Second: Yes, I indeed do believe that Poland generally acts like an "up-growing child" that suddenly realizes after its first day in highschool, that there are some much larger, much richer and much more important guys in school, than it self.
I think that experience is part of growing up: realizing, that others DO mock you, that others DO make fun of you, that other DON'T pay attention at all at you, that others laugh at you...JUST LIKE THE FIRST DAY IN HIGHSCHOOL. But you are just as much important as the others - because you are part of that class, of that school. And perhaps after some time some other class member starts liking you?
Rule number one in this "crazy highschool" called EU is: GDP matters - that means: economic power, MONEY is important. Nothing more.
That can be condemned - you may say:"What about culture? What about our role in history?"
Well, coming to that, ITALY should be the country crying loudest with his Roman Empire - or France, with all its culture.
But the EU is one mean, ungrateful thing where NEARLY everything is about money.
Take a look at the French: many, many countries make horrible jokes about France. England hates them, the USA hates them. Germany sometimes laughs about the French.
I tell you what: France doesn't give a **** about the other countries! They are relaxed, doing their own thing...knowing what they have achieved and what they are able to do.
And after all those horrible jokes and mocking Germany is nevertheless a friend of France and we can meet on vacation and have some wonderful time together (before we start to make ugly jokes about each other again!)
Or take Italy: a nearly bankrupt country the western world more or less doesn't care about at all. There are so many ugly jokes about Italian people. Their President is one running joke. The Italian people KNOW how the world thinks about them...AND THEY DON'T care! Because the don't DEFINE themselves through the "respect" others are granting them! That is another thing: demanding RESPECT is something no western country would do. Because being a "grown-up" democratic country means being relaxed and self conscious about the things one can do and one CAN'T do, too!.
Speaking for Germany: we do know we will never ever have he financial power of the USA, China or in the coming years India. And we don't have a problem with that - as long as "our house" - meaning the interior social stability - is working.
Perhaps Italy sometimes DREAMS about being an important country again - but for what reason? No Italian citizen REALLY pays attention about the image of their country: solving the internal problems comes first. Who cares about what Germany, the French, England or the rest of the world thinks about Italy?
And take a look at the USA: Germany owes the USA EVERYTHING coming to the years after WW2. And what did we give the USA under Bush? Pure HATE. Just like the French. Or any other western country that really believed in the human rights and the falsehood of the Iraki war.
And the USA? They didn't care! "That is OLD Europe!" You remember those words?
So my conclusion: laugh about your country - like every western country does! - Laugh about your own politicians (or even hate them - like the Germans do hate their own politicians!) - like every western country does! Be happy when NO ONE really cares about you because that puts you out of focus (like Spain and the problem with the Basks). Or be proud if you having achieved something nice and your neighbors stop laughing about you just for some seconds in history (perhaps after winning the FIFA worldcup).
Look: I KNOW that as a German on vacation (for example) the French sometimes make jokes about us. So do we about the French! - just like the rest of the world!! I know that the English still think we are all Nazis - but we don't care! We say: "Hello!" and drink some beer with the English and everything is fine again. And the English HATE the French - and the French HATE the English. But that "hate" is in one family-like matter, nothing really serious...and no one really cares about that.
Or Holland: BOY !!!- what a relationship to Holland Germany has! All those jokes and disrespectful stuff! But it is like a family: at the end of the day Holland is our brother and we can sing and laugh TOGETHER without being REALLY angry about those really harsh jokes.
Let me say: welcome, to the free and sometimes crazy western world - where everybody doesn't give a thing about the achievements of the other and plays dirty jokes about the other country and people...just like in one big, big family. But we are STILL one family. And just like in one family the guy who brings in most of the money has the last word to speak.
And that is maybe China or the USA on global scale and at the moment Germany in the EU - which doesn't prevent the rest of Europe to make some ugly jokes about Germany or (like England) saying (and BELIEVE!) that ALL of us are still Nazis. And we don't care - because that is the way it ALWAYS WAS in the past 40 years...THAT is Europe...one thing you should laugh about!
Not paying attention about what the other EU countries think about you is what makes you a TRUE EU member! Yes, that is one paradox thing ;).