In view of Brexit, which is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, here's an informative article on what is the European Union, and what are the pros and cons to it?
- The European Union (EU) is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe, and has an estimated population of 508 million.
- It does not mean that if you are a country in Europe, you are automatically in the EU.
- The European Union was founded in 1951 as a result of World War II.
The Council of Europe gives the flag a symbolic description in the following terms:
- "Against the blue sky of the Western world, the stars represent the peoples of Europe in a circle, a symbol of unity. Their number shall be invariably set at twelve, the symbol of completeness and perfection."
1. Tax Free Trading Among Members.
- This is the biggest benefit offered to members of the EU.
- Countries in the EU are free to trade with other members at no additional taxation.
- This helps to keep prices of goods and services down.
2. Opens Up Opportunities
- Movement between all of the countries in the EU is completely free and open to all citizens.
- This means that there are technically no physical borders, but only borders shown on the world map.
- This opens up many more job and education opportunities for people.
- About 3.5million jobs were created over the years!
3. Culture Is Not Lost
- The EU does not have an official language and doesn’t interfere with the cultural aspects of any country.
- This helps to ensure that, while you are part of the union, you are also your own country.
4. No Conflict Between Nations
- There are strict guidelines to follow for any issues that occur within the EU.
- This prevents any of the countries from getting into large political or economical problems with one another and promotes peace throughout the continent.
5. Freedom of Movement
- As previously stated, movement between all EU-member countries is free and open to all citizens.
- Citizens can freely travel, study, work, or live in any European country of their choice.
6. Louder voice
- The EU is able to ensure that all their concerns are taken seriously and heard internationally as it speaks on behalf of roughly half a million people!
1. Communication Barriers
- It is difficult for the EU to communicate with all of its citizens because each country has their own language.
- This also has an impact on the sense of unity among its members.
2. Shared Wealth
- Large and wealthy countries that are members of the European Union, e.g. Germany and UK, have to share their wealth with smaller and poorer countries.
- An example is Germany bailing Greece out of debt in 2015.
3. Leaving? - A Huge Problem.
- Once a country decides to join the EU, it is extremely difficult for them to leave it.
- This makes many people uneasy, because if it has negative effects on their country, there is little that they can do about it.
4. Serves Interests As A Whole, Not As Individual Countries
- The policies, decisions, and rules set in place by the European Union are not there to protect the best interest of each individual country.
- Instead, their goal is to advance the EU as a whole.
- When most benefit, a few shoulder the burden.
- As previously mentioned, there are no physical borders in the EU and citizens can move about freely.
- However, this has led to overcrowding in the major cities of UK and it has increased the prices of houses, as well as traffic congestion.
6. Membership Fees
- It is costly to be a member of the EU.
- It is said that the cost per head ranges from £300 to £873.
- This explains why the UK government's spending reached a net worth of £6.883 billion, excluding regulation cost.
- The 28 members of the EU are, in alphabetical order: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.
- In 2007, the EU had the biggest economy in the world.
- In 2011, Greece had a debt crisis that nearly took down the economy of Portugal, Italy, and Ireland.
- The legal system of the EU is based on the Romano-Dutch civil law.
- Every single country is required to teach their children the English language in schools.
The Brexit EU referendum will be held on 23 June 2016, with polls showing a tight race between staying or leaving the European Union.
If you'd like to know more about Brexit, do visit http://www.theweek.co.uk/eu-referendum for more information!
(And yes, I've returned to HabboBites! :D)