The Advantages of Being a Part of the European Union
Membership of the Single Market:
The Single Market of the EU has meant that companies going about their
business in EU member states have been forced to lower the prices of
their products to become more competitive.
The single market benefits companies by making it easier & cheaper to
do business in other EU countries. No customs tax is charged on goods
that are sold or transported between member states
. The EU also tries
to make each market as similar as possible to ensure fair competition
across national borders.
Free Movement of Citizens:
European citizens have the freedom to live, work, study, and travel in
any other EU country. Since 1995 alone, about 100,000 young Britons
have spent time studying in another European country.
It is estimated the 3.5 million British jobs are dependent on
Britain's membership of the EU. (Source: UK Jobs Dependent on the EU,
Brian Ardy, Iain Begg and Dermot Hodson, European Institute, South
Money for Development:
The EU is working to develop ?deprived? regions of Europe. Such areas
might for example have high numbers of people unemployed, or be rural
areas without many facilities, like good roads. This development is
carried out using 'European Structural Funds'.
The UK has been allocated a total of ?15.5billion (?10bn) of European
Structural Funds for 2000 - 2006. Over the same period, the UK has
also been allocated ?120 million (?80m) for Fisheries Guidance and
?961 million (?595m) for Community Initiatives.
A Louder International Voice:
By working together in the EU member countries can ensure their
concerns are heard
, and taken more seriously, on the international
stage. When the EU speaks it represents about 400 million people
(this will be 500m after enlargement). This is more than the combined
population of the United States & Russia. Margaret Thatcher has said:
?On our own, as a nation of 55 million, we would have some voice, but
Greater Protection for Workers:
The European Working Time Directive is an EU initiative designed to
protect workers from exploitation by employers.
The directive lays down regulations on matters such as how many breaks
an employee can take, and how many holidays they are entitled to each
year. It also aims to limit the average time an employee can be
compelled to work to 48 hours a week.
Greater Equality and Social Inclusion:
The EU has done a lot of work to raise the standard of equality for
its citizens. Through EU directives citizens are protected from
employment discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation,
religion or belief, disability and age.
Protection of the Environment:
The Environment knows no border and so the only effective way to
tackle environmental pollution is through international co-operation
and action. Britain has cleaner water, cleaner air and cleaner
beaches because of action at the EU level
Greater Co-operation in Law Enforcement:
EU co-operation is helping to crack down on terrorism, drug
trafficking and organised crime.
What are some of the disadvantages of being a part of the EU?
Too Many Rules and Regulations:
There are a great deal of rules and regulation, some of which don't
seem sensible. This can make the EU inefficient and excessively
Unaccountable to its Citizens:
Decisions are taken a long way from the people, making it a poor
example of democracy. People who are affected by EU decisions have
little chance to make their voices heard.
Concentration of Power:
EU institutions have too much power. They have taken away the right
of individual countries to make their own decisions about economic and
Speed of Integration:
The EU is moving towards more and more integration at a phenomenal
rate with not enough thought or debate on the issues. The UK risks
being swept by this tide of integration without plotting and following
its own course in the interest of its own citizens.
Loss of UK Sovereignty:
Membership of the EU has led the UK to lose its sovereignty. As a
result the UK is no longer free to develop its own policies, make its
own laws, or control its own economy in response to its own needs.
Much of what is contained in the argument for the EU does not need a
stricture ridden bureaucracy to operate successfully. The Cash
benefits look good but what is not taken into account is that Europe
is NOT the major trading partner it is made out to be and the costs of
running the machine is astronomical. Politicians are out of touch and
out of time - we need to be free of party politics so that common
sense can prevail over dogma.
Re: The advantages
1: "Companies have been forced to lower their prices in the EU" On the
contrary. That may have been the original intention of the common
market, but the higher labour costs of a 'social europe' have meant
that prices are uncompetitive and growth is low. Unless we're talking
about farmers who can use their outrageous CAP subsidies to dump cheap
food on the thirld world.
2: "Easier and cheaper to do business in other EU countries - more
competition" A better description would be to say that everybody will
eventually become as uncompetitive as everybody else. The EU has
levelled the playing field in favour of those with the highest costs.
3: "Free movement of citizens/students"
I can't think of many countries I can't travel freely to these days.
Is this really down to the EU? We accept students from many other
non-EU countries and send many thousands of ours to the US for
4: "3.5m more jobs" This figure is picked out of thin air and is
supposed to correspond to all employees working for firms which have
trading ties with the EU. Do you really think they would be out of
work tomorrow and that those firms would cease to exist is we left the
EU? Germany and France have over 10% unemployment. That's their
highest jobless figure since the 1930's depression.
5: "The UK has been allocated 15.5 billion for 2000-2006"
This is the lowest figure per capita of any European country . During
the same period of time (2000-2006) we will have paid IN almost £25Bn.
So there is no economic benefit. Britain pays more to be part of the
EU than any other country. At the moment Europe wants to stop us
getting our £3.3Bn yearly rebate(to compensate us for being penalised
so heavily by the French on joining) If that ends up happening then we
will be paying £7.5Bn per year into the EU and getting 2.6bn
6: "Greater worker protection/ 48hr week"
This was intended to be a way of reducing unemployment by sharing out
the work to be done among more people working shorter hours. It has
had the opposite effect. In Germany manufacturing jobs have migrated
to former soviet countries where labour costs are cheaper. That means
11% unemployment in Germany and 5 million jobless. The situation is no
better in France. Their rate of growth is less than half the UK
average. What's the point in protecting workers if it means creating
unemployed who are welfare dependant victims? Maybe some of those 5m
jobless would be happy to work at a car plant for more than 48 hours a