Nic Dakin MP

Standing up for Local People

Jessica's Blog: Background of the EU


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.


Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.