28 December 2011

The European Union Today

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

The European Union has been a grand experiment
originating in 1958 but solidifying in 1993

Take 27 European countries with diverse histories, cultures, locations, and economies 
and bind them with laws and a single currency, 
the euro

The European Union aims to provide free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within Europe

A dreamy idea, but can it work?

National borders relax 
as many from poorer EU countries flood wealthier EU countries for work,
for no work visa is required 
{ with a few exceptions } 

Unfortunately, it has created another layer of big government
My babysitter says her fees are dictated by the EU in Brussels
Sounds a little crazy, right?

Countries in the European Union
Switzerland and Norway are among the few who did not join

Due to the current economic crisis in Greece and Italy,
a recent UK newspaper headline read
'EU Demands £25bn Lifeline From UK'

That doesn't feel fair to the British who have their own economic woes
and decided to keep its currency { Pound Sterling } from the beginning
as a way to hold on to their sovereignty

Map of the European Union

The demands and threats toward the British to financially help with the euro crisis
has led 59% of those surveyed wanting to leave the EU,
25% wanting to stay, and 16% not sure,
according to a UK newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph

In a country where NO ONE has bumper stickers on his/her car
{ it is tacky to display your opinions so publicly },

I actually have seen a few promoting the UK to leave the EU
{ or maybe it is just the same car I see over and over again }

Euro notes replaced many national currencies in 2002
Not used by all EU countries, including UK and Denmark

What has the EU meant to me?
Aside from taxes, new laws I'm not aware of, and a great variety of imports in the stores,

I can't help but be a little envious of EU citizens buzzing
through passport control as I stand in the long non-EU citizen line

I see cars and big lorries on the highways with licenses plates from all over Europe

When we travel through Europe, 
it is convenient to use the same currency when we cross borders

{ But I must say the bland artwork on the euro makes me sad for the countries 
who lost their beautiful, meaningful depictions of their culture on their own currency }

2012 could be an interesting year for the EU 

Will the European Union break up?
Will a few countries be forced to abandon the euro?
Will the UK decide to leave?

Stay tuned...

P.S. Post Of The Month Club will resume January 31 :)

Images: Wikipedia 1, 2


Sunray Gardens said...

It doesn't seem right. None come forward to help you but yet the others always expect help.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Pom Pom said...

Hi Laura!
Fascinating. Thank you for explaining the EU so well.

Barbara said...

I have to say that I love living in the EU since we can freely travel and not have to worry about converting money or doing math in my head. I wonder what will happen in 2012, especially living in France.

Anonymous said...

I just want to add that every Euro coin has depictions related to the different countries. So "Maltese" euro coins (I am Maltese) have either the Maltese cross, the prehistoric temple or the state official representation.

Difficult times ahead for Europe

HolleyGarden said...

The entire world will be watching as this 'experiment' unfolds. I think of it sort of like different states here in the US - different cultures, different laws, etc., but travel to state to state is easy, same currency, and all regulated by the federal laws. (I could be completely wrong in my thinking.) But one state doesn't ask another state to give them money! (at least not yet)

wayside wanderer said...

Very interesting and informative post.

Ola said...

I do not belive that EU will break up... At least I hope so. If yes, we should all better start learning Chinese:)At least the cooking would be great!:)

Roman said...

Thanks to EU i've been travelling all over Europe this year without any problems, now im in UK.. EU is an organism constructed in a way that it will disintegrate by itself if/when it looses its credibility/usefulness/becomes too ridiculous

Irene said...

The problem with the EU is that the great pro-Europe leaders from Germqany's Brandt and Schmidt to France's Mitterand are no more (either alive or in government). Thus the ideal of a European Union which is totally logical as Europeans do share common culture, based on Classical education, and religion, as the vast majority of Europeans are Christian, was unfortunately stranded in the hands of eurosceptics and trust fund sharks. Therefore the current economic woes that only serve the dollar, before it gives way too to a global totalitarian currency, are a way of disassembling the European Union and bringing about a new European civil war as were WW1 and WW2.

icedgurl said...

trekking your lovely blog!!! thanks for sharing and keep posting! Happy New Year!


Jane said...

Such an intriguing post, Laura. I could natter to you for hours about it. I am watching from the sidelines on the other side of the world with keen interest as to where it will all end up. J x

Zosia said...

Yes, the discussion is also very paramount in the Polish press. Poland has kept its own currency as well. Poles are very patriotic and some voices say that Poland has been forced to give up a lot of its newly gained (1989) independence as a price for joining the security of the EU. Like you, we keep watching the developing situation.