Like many people, I don’t know too much about the details and background of the EU, other than the occasional facts from the media. I decided to write a weekly blog looking at the different bits of the EU. Today, I focused my research on the background of the EU.
The EU stands for the European Union and is a union of 28 counties, including the UK who joined in 1973. Some of the main reasons countries like the UK join the EU are:
- To prevent another war or conflict happening within Europe- like World War 1 and 2
- To respect human rights
- To form a common economic area
The EU aim to develop Europe as an area of freedom, security and justice.
Countries within the EU pay to be a member through taxes though they also profit from being a member. In 2011, almost half of the UK goods and services were exported to the EU.
A common economic area means that if a country exports something to another country within the EU, they don’t have to pay for any export tariffs that may be added if exporting to a country outside the EU. As the UK exports so many goods to EU countries, this means a lot of money is saved.
The EU means free movement of goods, services, capital and people can happen. This is why a UK citizen can travel to and live or work within an EU country for as long as they wish, without the need for a visa. They can also pass legislation on home affairs and justice as well as maintaining policies on other matters such as agriculture.
Next week, I will be looking at the five main bodies that run the EU and what they do different from each other.