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European Quest: Your views


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The "European Quest" team: From left, Quest, producer Rachel Brown and cameraman Woj Treszczynski.

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SPECIAL REPORT
• Overview: Time of change
• Timeline: WWII to present
• Map: EU membership
YOUR SAY
Send your comments and questions to Richard Quest at europeanquest@cnn.com.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Richard Quest
Europe

(CNN) -- For two weeks, Richard Quest and his team are traveling around countries about to join the European Union on May 1. We asked for your views. The following are a selection of your e-mails.

Richard, I'm very interested to know if many of the citizens of the new EU countries see membership as a new economic opportunity to work and travel freely where the economy is better, or are they willing to wait for the economic beneifits of membership to flow eastward? Linda Burns, Chicago

Dear Richard, today I saw on CNN International your report about dentists in Hungary near border with Austria. Also, every time when I did travelled to Hungary for shopping they did always put border stamp into my passport, and I know that we did wait long time to enter Hungary. I hope that dentist did make great job in your mouth for little money. I will continue to watch your reports on CNN Int. Ivan Huziak

Hello Mr. Quest, okay, the questions men around the world are dying to know ... which country joining the EU has the most attractive women? The best beer? These should be questions, you would love to answer. Cheers, Chris

I'm very interested in what you guys are doing. I think frequently there is a large discrepancy in the large issues that are reported and what the common man on the street thinks. I am an American and have traveled to Lithuania many times and have found the insights I got from talking to the people to be very important to my understanding of what is reported about the larger issues. I'll be most interested to see what you come up with! Anders Brownworth

Mr. Quest (and the European Quest team): Are the hills really alive with the sound of music? Thank you. Regards, Sarina Pasricha.

I recently returned from a trip to the beautiful nation of Slovenia. I've been around the world, and Ljubljana is one of my favorite cities. I was there for nearly two weeks and hardly began to experience everything this small country has to offer. Slovenia is being slighted, and you have no idea what you're missing. Becky Klugiewicz

Richard, It's a great idea for you to see first hand what is happening in the new EU member countries. I saw your piece on this morning's CNN, with you driving the minivan with Slovak license plates. I've been living and working here for 10 years, and I'm quite excited about the developments connected with entry into the EU. There is no more exiting place to be at this time in history. Enjoy your discovery trip in Central Europe. It may not be the "trip of a lifetime", but I'll bet it will be an experience you will never forget. Good Luck! Roger G. Johnson

Shame your not going to Estonia when the beer festival is on you'd love it! Anna Lewis

What are people "hoarding" as part of the old culture identifers? Besides coins and currency, what other items are symbols of the pre-EU which will not be necessary? How are countries which have not applied for EU membership viewed? Is there going to be hot spot (as I already read the article on the increase in air traffic through Poland's airport) within the new membership countries? Can I go with your expedition next time? Andrea M Panner

Great idea! A friend of mine was in the US on summer holidays and a guy wanted to know where she was from, she said Slovakia and he asked her how long would it take him to get there by car... and if we have electricity and PCs there... And this is just one of many stories that my Slovakian friends are experiencing abroad... It's time to change... Eva Dubecka, Bratislava

Enjoy your time on your trip across these countries! I am going to Latvia next month and look forward to the changes that have been made since joining the EU and NATO. Riga is a beautiful city and is beautiful when it wakes from its winter slumber. Anthony Stanley

I love your presentation of the news. I wish I would see more of you on CNN. I am a Polish born businessman who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years. I'm going back to Poland May 3-10, to start businesses there. I think you will find that it's much more about money and jobs, though. It's about becoming a 'legitimate' part of Europe. Eastern Europe has had a stigma as the backwater of Europe for a 100 years now. Finally, its about being on equal footing with the rest of Europe. Its a matter of pride. Have a great trip! Matt Perek Valencia, CA

First, good luck on your quest. I've been here over 8 years now and I'm not sure who these new Euopeans really are either. Being caucasion American I am really a European, but am also a Hungarian immigrant. Does that make me an old European, a new European, or just an old American trying to be European? Seriously, I would like to know if there are other Americans who have come home to Europe through the new EU countries. Have a good time on your "Quest". Gary Carpenter, Hungary

As you all travel through the new member states I wonder what sense you get from the everyday worker or even student. Do they have a euphoria and drive that will take many western Europeans by storm? Alexander L. Fernández

Hi, I'm so looking forward to the show. I'm curious, how many people of color live in these countries and what is their experience. Do these new EU countries have an awareness of multi-ethnicity --in the old way or the new way? Adrienne Crew

Estonians seem to be as well-equipped as Americans with the latest technology ---laptops, cell phones, digital cameras, CD players. What kind of things don't they have that we take for granted? Yvonne and Allen King

Dear Richard, Isn't this fun? Hope you share the fun in the new Europe man... :-) Ken Karner

Hello, I am an International student from Lithuania, studying journalism in the United States. I am very excited about your idea for your european quest. I am very curious on what you will find out. I have not been in Lithuania for 2 years now and I have been following all the news about EU closelly. To some extent I envy you the opportunity to go there and experience everything first hand. I will be counting on you to satisfy my curiosity. I will be following your quest and I wish you the best of luck and success. Thank you. Sincerely, Inga Lukaviciute

I just want to give my appreciation and admiration to the very talented Richard Quest. In the past 12 months I have become an avid viewer of his reports on CNN. Whenever I find myself checking into yet another hotel room, CNN is immediately and constantly on. I'm very much looking forward to the European Quest, good luck to Richard and the team!!! Best Regards, Marcus

Hi Richard, I am a big fan of your show but a bit angry that you donšt do any piece on Africa. Apart from the civil wars and other upheavals the western media is so keen to capture, Africa also has its own oasis of wonderland you guys are yet to capture. So how about a try, I know you will not be disappointed for I am a African and know what I am talking about. Ines Etemesi, Kenya

And have a great time in Central and Eastern Europe! I am jealous. I am a 65 yr old Wisconsin man who worked in Warsaw, Poland (6 mos.), then Bratislava, Slovakia (4 mos.), then over a year in Bucharest, Romania from 1997 - 1999 ... My work included spending several visits to Budapest and to Prague, two absolutely wonderful cities - Prague being my favorite city in the world. Ralph P. Kummerow

Great idea, Richard! It will be interesting to see what you find and observe while you make your trip without any stereotypes and assumptions. I, however, came from Lithuania nine years ago. One thing I remember is that sports play a significant role in Lithuanian's lives, particularly basketball. The country's national pride thrives on the success of city teams and national teams in the international arena. You will be surprised how the athletes are treated and what they mean to the average person Good luck and I am anxious to read your reports on CNN.com! Reggie Jonaitis

Mr, Quest, I was a boy growing up in Gloucester England when refugees from Hungary were arriving in Britain. It was my first exposure to political strife outside my world as a child. I remember feeling compassionate at the time and also sad. I played soccer with the Poles in the park near my home where I spent a lot of time. Talk to the people you meet and ask them about how their lives changed and what they thought about becoming prisoners in their own country. Did they think the world abandoned them?, do they feel resentment? Look back in history and I think you will find these countries are familiar with foreign invaders including Russia. What about their culture, and religion? Is it still in tact? When you get to Hungary find out what happened to their great soccer players. Good luck Mr. Quest. I will be looking forward to your discoveries with interest. Tony Aldridge, U.S.

Send your comments to:europeanquest@cnn.com.


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