By the time the Maastricht Treaty hasdbeen signed in February 1992, I was a student at the Faculty of Law in Bari in South of Italy,.
II had already been fascinated and interested by the European law, policy and Institutions, which still has been perceived as the European Economic Community – EEC.
For this reason, I was a pioneer in founding in Bari the European Law Students Association- ELSA, by anticipating the ERASMUS programme philosophy, because we facilitated the interconnections and exchanges between law and economy students from Italy, Netherland, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Spain and even from Austria (not yet Member State).
We were very excited and motivated to organize joint seminars on EU policies, languages courses in juridical English at the regional/local courts, international annual and periodical meetings across Europe and we developed a strong European mindset in our daily student life!
"Thanks to the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty, we really shared our EU citizenship awareness in a concrete and tangible way, by fostering the cooperation, integration and the free movement of young people between European universities (namely for the ELSA association, the Faculties of Law and Economy)!"
As ELSA members community, we much welcomed the recognition of Education, vocational training and youth as EU competence, as stated in art. 126 of the Maastricht Treaty, which, aims at encouraging the development of youth exchanges and of exchanges, encouraging mobility of students; promoting cooperation between educational establishments.
Therefore, with a lot of enthusiasm we worked, on voluntary basis, like a European Network, well coordinated among the international, national and the local boards across Europe). I was also very proud to appointed as the President of ELSA Bari, in the same period!
During the transition time between the EEC and the EU (1992 and 1993), I drafted my degree thesis on the topic of the Free circulation of the workers in the EEC, which has been successfully discussed in my Faculty of Law in Bari, in April 1993.
And 3 years later, fully in line with the new EU competence on Culture, introduced by the art 128 , I decided to draft my specialization degree on the topic of the ‘Free circulation of cultural goods (tangible) in the EU, in order to understand to what extend the Member States where implementing the new EU legislation, namely the Council Directive 93/7/EEC of 15 March 1993 on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State.
Following my strong background about EU developments and progress, today I am very happy to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, still proud of my EU citizenship not only in Europe but also around the world!
Cinzia De Marzo, Lawyer, specialized in European Union Law
Bruxelles, 31 October 2018