Voice of the EU is a video social network for creating, sharing and discovering short videos. Voice of the EU is an outlet to express yourself by telling about your hopes and dreams for the future and by giving an insight of your daily life. Join the conversation. Now.

What are your thoughts on Europe? What are the most important benefits the EU has brought? Freedom of movement? Equal pay? Cheap flights? Clear food labelling? Or something else? Have Your Say. Shape Your Future. Your Voice. Your EU. Go to facebook.com/voiceoftheeu

Populism, unemployment, terror…
A rising tide of populism has engulfed Europe amid increasing unemployment, stagnant economies, a growing fear of terrorism, and a continuing stream of migrants. Confusion and despair slowly floods into the corners of the old continent as politicians and the establishment disagrees as how to address the growing challenges.

However, there seems to be one consensus: The people’s voice must be heard. A shared European identity, democratic sensibility and sense of community can only be strengthened through debate and intercultural dialogue.

Join the conversation. Now.

What are your thoughts on Europe? What are the most important benefits the EU has brought? Freedom of movement? Equal pay? Cheap flights? Clear food labelling? Or something else?

Have Your Say. Shape Your Future.
Your Voice. Your EU.

Go to facebook.com/voiceoftheeu

 

Ever wondered what Europeans the same age as you are thinking? Ever wondered how they are living? What their dreams and hopes are for the future?

Voices of Europe invites all Europeans to share their thoughts, hopes, worries and dreams with the rest of Europe giving them the chance to make their voice count.

The Voice of the EU gives you the chance to gain an insight into the lifes of your European peers. And we invite you to share your thoughts, hopes, worries and dreams with the rest of Europe. This is your chance to make your voice count.

What do you feel?

Eurobarometer is a series of public opinion surveys addressing a wide variety of topical issues relating to the European Union throughout the EU Member States. Each survey consists of approximately 1000 face-to-face interviews per country. The Eurobarometer gives us a unique insight into Europeans’ views on the future, concerns and hopes.

Migration

Migration are very clearly ahead in terms of concerns at EU level. Close to half
of Europeans see immigration as one of the two most important issues facing the EU.

Terrorism

Concern about terrorism has risen sharply following the terrorist attacks which have taken place in Europe (France, Denmark, and a thwarted attack in Belgium).

Crime

Concern about crime has risen slightly the past 6 months. Cited by 9% of European citizens, crime is the main concern at European level.

Brexit

Prior to Brexit, 63% of the British did not feel their voice counted in the EU. Only 31% felt their voice did. Immigration was the 1st most frequently mentioned subject cited as the most important issue facing the EU.

The Economy

Cited by 19% of citizens, the economic situation is in third place at EU level. It reaches its highest scores in Greece (35%), where it is seen as the second most important issue, and in Spain (29%), Cyprus (28%) and Finland (25%).

Health and social security

16% of Europeans see health and social security as the most important issue facing their country. Health and social security is 1st most frequently mentioned subject in the Netherlands (56%).

28 Countries. 1 Union.

The European Union (EU) is a politico-economic union of 28 member states. It has an estimated population of over 510 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture,[fisheries, and regional development. Within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002, and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union

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The EU: Advantages

The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 countries. The aim of the EU is to promote European harmony through creating a single market, enabling the free movement of goods, services and people.

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European Union countries are no longer waging war against each other. Europe has managed to heal the divisions which were so painfully exposed in the two World Wars in the Twentieth Century. The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for helping to promote peace and international co-operation. Many Eastern European countries are keen to join the EU because they feel it will help promote economic and political stability.

The EU has a strong commitment to human rights, preventing discrimination and the due process of law. This makes the EU attractive to countries, such as the Ukraine who wish to share in similar legal and human rights.

Prospect of membership has helped modernize countries. The Copenhagen Criteria for EU membership enshrine commitment to human rights, rule of law and market economy. The prospect of gaining membership of the EU, encourage countries to implement human rights legislation.

EU is one of strongest economic areas in the world. With 500 million people, it has 7.3% of the world’s population, but accounts for 23% of nominal global GDP. Free trade and removal of non-tariff barriers have helped reduce costs and prices for consumers. Increased trade to the EU creates jobs and higher income. Over 52% of UK exports are to the EU. Trade within the EU has increased 30% since 1992.

Not only is environmental policy a vitally important part of the decisions taken jointly at European level, but it’s also one of the EU’s biggest success stories. The list is long but here are some highlights:

The EU have raised the quality of sea water and beeches, by implementing regulations on water standards ‘Bathing Water Directive’. 92% of tourist locations now meet minimum water quality standards.

Tackling global warming. In 2006, the (EU) committed to reducing its global warming emissions by at least 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2020. The EU has also committed to spending $375 billion a year to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. (global warming pdf)

Tackling acid rain. Environmental treaties which have sought to deal with European wide environmental problems such as acid rain. The EU has set strict restrictions on emissions of pollutants, such as sulphur, and other causes of acid rain. (BBC Link)

Free movement of labour and capital have helped create a more flexible economy. For example, UK and Ireland have benefited from the immigration of Eastern European workers to fill labour market shortages in certain areas, such as plumbing, nursing and cleaning. 1.5 million young people have completed part of their studies in another member state with the help of the Erasmus programme. The possibility to study abroad is considered positive by 84% of EU citizens.

The EU is able to ensure that all their concerns are taken seriously and heard internationally since it speaks in behalf of millions of people.

Some member countries of the EU are economically deprived and through the ‘European Structural Funds’, deprived regions are developed.

There exists one ‘Single Market’ for all member countries wherein products are low-priced and there are no charges when it comes to custom tax; custom tax is usually charged when goods are transported or sold between states/countries but this is not applied among member countries.

What do you think are the advantages of the EU? Please, join the debate about EU and the future of EU: www.facebook.com/voiceoftheeu

The EU: Disadvantages

If there are benefits to being a member of the EU, there are also disadvantages: Inefficient policies, high membership cost and single currency problems. Others are pressure to pursue austerity, net migration and complex bureaucracy.

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A large percentage (40%) of EU spending goes on the Common Agricultural Policy. For many years this distorted agricultural markets by placing minimum prices on food. This lead to higher prices for consumers and encouraging over-supply. Reforms to CAP have reduced, but not eliminated this wastage. A big existing problem with CAP is that it has rewarded large land-owners, with little reflection of social benefit.

It is argued that the EU has created extra layers of bureaucracy whilst taking away decision making process further from local communities. For example, the introduction of Qualified majority voting (QMV) mean that on many decisions votes can be taken against the public interest of a particular country.

One of the biggest disadvantages for a nation to join the EU is loss of sovereignty. Every year European Union tries to implement new policies and laws related to enlargement of the integration process. New rules lead to the loss of sovereignty.

Since 2008, many southern European countries have faced pressure from the EU to pursue austerity – spending cuts to meet budget deficit targets, but in the middle of a recession these austerity measures have contributed to prolonged economic stagnation. In particular, Greece was forced by its creditors to accept austerity, when some economists have argued this is counter-productive.

Not all member states are part of the Euro. The EU has placed great emphasis on the single currency and has encouraged membership. However, it has proved to have many problems and contributed to low rates of economic growth and high unemployment across the EU.

For some European areas free movement is beneficial. For some it is not. Free movement of labour can cause large flows of people from low income to high income regions infrastructure problems and downward pressure on wages. In addition, developing countries may lose their best skilled labour

It becomes very difficult for the EU to communicate with all of it’s citizens because they all speak different language. This also impact the feeling of unity among it’s members. It makes it harder to bring people together.

The European Union regulations on immigrations affect some countries’ policies. For instance, member countries lack the authority to turn away large numbers of refugees. Such limitations strain members’ financial resources.

In order for a country to stay in the European Union they are forced to pay a very hefty fee. For example, the fee for Britain to stay in the EU is upwards of a billion pounds! Many people argue that this cost alone outweighs any money that would saved from trade.

What do you think are the disadvantages of the EU? Please, join the debate about EU and the future of EU: www.facebook.com/voiceoftheeu

Småland, Sweden

Join the conversation. Now.

What are your thoughts on Europe? How do you perceive future enlargements? What does it mean to you? What were the root causes of Brexit? Was it about sovereignty and “taking back control”? Was it about immigration? What are the most important benefits the EU has brought? Freedom of movement? Equal pay? Cheap flights? Clear food labelling? Or something else?

Have Your Say. Shape Your Future.
Your Voice. Your EU.