Introduction: The European Union Explained (02:13)
This segment orients viewers to the topic of the European Union (EU), its aim, and its current state.
European Coat & Steel Community (02:59)
European countries sought economic integration to eliminate war and gain economic benefits; six countries joined the community in 1951. In 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed and a customs union created a free trade zone. The original six countries were called the European Economic Community.
Closer Union (02:02)
In 1979, the first European Parliament elections occurred. In 1985, passport checks between borders stopped. In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty created the European Union. In 2002, the euro became the monetary standard for 12 countries. In 2009, the Lisbon Treaty reformed the EU.
Free Movement (01:09)
A key principle of the EU allows the free movement of goods and services. Anyone in the EU can get a job in any part of that area. Economist Imran Mirza states that the unrestricted motivation of labor has been controversial.
Political Union (01:35)
Mirza states that currency is the foundation of economy and the basis of all power. In 2008, the world financial crisis caused a disaster in the Euro Zone. This catastrophe confirmed Germany as the dominant force in Europe.
EU Institutions (04:30)
The EU has seven main institutions. The European Council gives overall direction to the EU; the European Commission has 28 members. The European Parliament is the legislative division that passes laws.
Who Has The Power? (01:04)
Mirza describes the structure of the EU as complicated. The power within the organization is a balance of national vs. supra-national interests. Diversity spans the whole of many nations that come together.
How Do They Spend The Budget? (03:03)
The biggest portion of the EU budget goes to the structural fund. The second largest amount is allotted to the Common Agricultural Policy; France gets the majority of the subsidies. "Set-aside" was introduced in 1988.
Money Well Spent? (00:58)
Mirza states that over £4 billion are lost every year in fraud. A reporter from The Real Face of the European Union stated that money spending is "rotten to the core." Mirza believes there is always arguing over money.
Democratic Deficit? (03:48)
Critics of the EU believe elected bureaucrats run Europe and see the union as a club for career politicians and wealthy businessmen. Jacob Rees-Mogg gives a speech about decision making in the Council of Ministers at the Oxford Union Society.
Why is the UK So Anti-EU? (02:39)
Many people in Britain see themselves as detached from mainland Europe; the EU hurts their sovereignty. Defenders of the Realm Vice President Norris McWhirter states that the EU is a scam.
Crisis & Division (02:48)
The Euro Zone financial crisis highlighted differences between countries and discouraged other countries from joining the European Union. Nigel Farage states that backroom parliament members make "backroom deals."
So How Do We Decide? (01:46)
War has not occurred in Europe since 1945. The EU claims success in protecting citizens and enforcing a minimum wage. Mirza states the unification lowered phone bills and promotes women's rights.
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