Its the feast of St Valentine next week - and to mark the event - we’ve decided to shift gear and focus on the sweeter side of life - the state of romance and relationships on the old continent.
To find out we head to the capital of romance, Paris Did you know that Paris is teeming with hundreds of thousands of singles? Poles in the meantime are getting married in growing numbers - to non poles Romania’s nouveau riche are taking to ”cross-generational” relationships....And while Bulgarians are coming to terms with the brave new world of de-facto relationships out of wedlock, Sweden, usually in the vanguard of sexual freedoms, is having some trouble coming to terms with gay and lesbian marriage.
So, who was St Valentine?
At Network Europe we like to get to the bottom of things and when we decided to shift our focus to European’s relationships to mark the upcoming celebration of St Valentine, our first question was who exactly was Valentine - Why is he a saint.? And what on earth made him so amorous?
In Paris – and single
There’s really no denying it - for many Paris, is ”the” global capital of romance, where literature and art lead us to believe at least - that Latin lovers stroll along the banks of the romantic river Seine……But hold on. Did you know that Paris is also home to hundreds of thousands of singles! And that according to statistics there could be as many as 15 million single people in France,
That’s twice as many than thirty years ago! RFI’s Nick Champeaux wanted to find out why , despite the romantic backdrop, so many people hadn’t found their soul-mates...
The Polish-Ireland connection
As work, study and weekend breaks take Europeans to the four corners of the continent, international romance is blooming. More than 100,000 Poles alone have moved to Ireland in search of jobs since it flung its doors wide-open to immigration from the new EU member states in Eastern Europe. Most of the Poles are young and...single. For its part, Ireland has more young people per capita than any other European country. So even if many Poles don’t have romance on their mind when they leave for Dublin, Limerick or Galway, it often ends up that way. Polish Radio’s Bogdan Zaryn caught up with Paul and Dominika, one of the increasing number of Polish-Irish couples.
Romania’s nouveau riche and ”cross-generational” relationships
On the streets of new member - Romania’s capital Bucharest
intergenerational couples are increasingly frequent - and visible. But apparently as Radio Romania International’s Iulian Muresan reports it’s apparently not because Romanians
have successfully bridged the generation gap. Quite on the contrary... It’s all about money.
Liberal Sweden: Loosing its nerve?
Embracing the new is something Swedes like to think they’re good at. Rightly or wrongly, this part of the world as long been associated with sexual freedoms but its also known to be at the vanguard of social legislation equating de-facto relationships and marriage under the law, promoting gender equality, and safeguarding the rights of children as unique from their parents. But there are still some aspects of personal sexual and romantic freedoms that are controversial for some - Radio Sweden’s Bill Schiller reports on the state of gay and lesbian rights in Sweden.