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Freedom of Movement Tour

Authors: Alex Colling, Chiara Ginestra


Way to go
Way to go

We''ll be back
We''ll be back

On the road and in limbo - with attitude!
On the road and in limbo - with attitude!

On 23rd June 2016 the UK, or rather 52% of the UK, or rather 52% of the people who turned up to vote, voted to leave the EU in a non-binding referendum.

We woke up that morning in total dismay and incredulity. We cried. Our money had lost value overnight and we felt rejected. We are EU citizens from different countries within the EU (Italy and the UK) and we currently live in the UK. Freedom of movement which gives us the right to travel, live and work in another EU country is one of the founding principles of the European Union. Without the EU we would have never met. Many things unite us including our love for bicycles as a vehicle that takes us from A to be (pun intended). We suddenly felt divided by our respective nationalities.

Months after, things were still suspended. Things ARE still suspended. We don’t know what our rights will look like. Despair is now mixed with moments of wry hilarity. At times we imagined us locking the door of our flat behind us, and instead of cycling to work, cycling to Dublin. Then Amsterdam. And then never stop until we found a place were we would not be strangers, another place that could be our home. We laughed. And waited. But freedom of movement is still here, it is still ours. 28 countries and 28 capital cities where we could live and work in, and we can definitely travel in. Our freedom of movement is now, and we are going to take it.

So that is our simple and enduring plan: to exercise our right to freedom of movement in the EU.

The purpose of this blog is to record some of our journey, give you a picture of Europe today and highlight the benefits of freedom of movement. Further elaboration to follow…


Il 23 giugno del 2016 il Regno Unito, o meglio: il 52% del Regno Unito; o meglio: il 52% di quelli che andarono a votare, votò per l'uscita del paese dall'Unione Europea in un referendum dai fini unicamente consultivi.

Quella mattina ci svegliammo in uno stato di totale sconcerto e incredulità. Lacrime. Il risultato del referendum non solo era quello che era, ma era anche magicamente passato da consultivo a vincolante. Le sterline che avevamo in banca avevano perso valore dalla sera alla mattina. Ci sentivamo rifiutati. Siamo una coppia ‘mista’ composta da un britannico e una cittadina europea (ad essere precisi, anche il britannico tra noi è un cittadino europeo!). Viviamo a Edimburgo. La libertà di movimento che ci dà il diritto di viaggiare, vivere e lavorare in un altro paese europeo è uno dei principi fondamentali dell'Unione. Senza la UE non ci saremmo mai incontrati. Ci uniscono molte cose, tra cui il nostro amore per la bicicletta come veicolo che ci porta da A ad S…ere (il gioco di parole è interamente voluto), ma improvvimente le nostre rispettive nazionalità ci dividono.

Mesi dopo il referendum, il nostro futuro era ancora incerto. Il nostro futuro È ancora incerto. Non sappiamo se e come cambieranno i nostri diritti. La disperazione dei primi tempi ora è mista a sprazzi di amara ilarità. Ci sono stati momenti in cui ci siamo immaginati di chiuderci la porta alle spalle, montare in bici e, invece di andare al lavoro come ogni mattina, pedalare fino a Dublino. E poi Amsterdam. E poi non fermarci mai fino a che non avessimo trovato un posto dove non siamo considerati stranieri, un altro posto dove possiamo sentirci di nuovo a casa. Era un'idea folle e ci abbiamo riso su. Abbiamo aspettato. Ma la libertà di movimento è ancora qui, è ancora nostra. 28 paesi e 28 capitali in cui potremmo vivere e lavorare, e in cui possiamo di certo viaggiare. La nostra libertà di movimento è ora, e noi ce la prendiamo.

Quindi, il nostro piano è semplice e allo stesso tempo difficile: esercitare il nostro diritto al libero movimento nel territorio dell'Unione Europea. Questo blog è un racconto di viaggio, una fotografia dell'Europa di oggi e una testimonianza dei benefici della “freedom of movement”.

Chiara and Alexander


About the Authors

Alex Colling

Alex Colling


Alex has a degree but, more importantly, a passion for helping people who are marginalised in society and has worked most of his life as a support worker. 

Alex is British and feels European. He lived in Germany for a few years and married an Italian lady with whom he is currently cycling around Europe in a protest against Brexit and the threat that it represents to his freedom of movement.

Alex thinks that if there is a good side to Brexit it is that it has at least allowed him to connect with like-minded people and as part of this he's recently joined New Europeans. 
 

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Chiara Ginestra

Chiara Ginestra

Chiara was born Italian and grew up a migrant.

Thanks to freedom of movement within the EU she lived, studied and worked not only in Italy, but also in Ireland, Spain, and ultimately Scotland where she fell in love with - of all things! - an Englishman.

Chiara has worked all her life in the third sector in various roles and degrees of responsibility.

When she doesn't cycle around Europe with her English husband, she sits at a desk and stares at a screen for 8 hours a day, eating chocolate.

Chiara can't stand injustice and to better fight against the injustice of Brexit together with other like-minded people she has recently joined New Europeans. 
 

View all articles

About the Authors

Alex Colling

Alex Colling


Alex has a degree but, more importantly, a passion for helping people who are marginalised in society and has worked most of his life as a support worker. 

Alex is British and feels European. He lived in Germany for a few years and married an Italian lady with whom he is currently cycling around Europe in a protest against Brexit and the threat that it represents to his freedom of movement.

Alex thinks that if there is a good side to Brexit it is that it has at least allowed him to connect with like-minded people and as part of this he's recently joined New Europeans. 
 

View all articles

Chiara Ginestra

Chiara Ginestra

Chiara was born Italian and grew up a migrant.

Thanks to freedom of movement within the EU she lived, studied and worked not only in Italy, but also in Ireland, Spain, and ultimately Scotland where she fell in love with - of all things! - an Englishman.

Chiara has worked all her life in the third sector in various roles and degrees of responsibility.

When she doesn't cycle around Europe with her English husband, she sits at a desk and stares at a screen for 8 hours a day, eating chocolate.

Chiara can't stand injustice and to better fight against the injustice of Brexit together with other like-minded people she has recently joined New Europeans. 
 

View all articles
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