Is the European Union Worth It Or Should We End It?

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Do you think the European Union is worth it? Or, should we end it? Many people feel a strong disconnect with the EU, while others praise its achievements. Everything considered: Is its existence good or bad for Europeans? Since it looks like the UK is leaving the EU, we'll mostly treat it as if it's no longer part of the club. The European Union, combining its 27 member countries, has a population of about 450 million people, making it the third most populous sort-of country in the world. It's the world's second largest economy by GDP, and has the biggest single market in the world. But originally, the creation of the European Union was all about one thing: Peace. Europeans are really good at war, so they were involved in bloody conflicts for basically all their history. A century-long rivalry between Germany and France alone, cost millions of lives and ran so deeply that Germans invented their own word for it: Erbfeindschaft. After the second World War, Europeans decided they wanted lasting peace that was not based on a balance of military power. Instead, the economies, politics, and peoples of Europe, should become so closely interconnected, that war would become both impractical and unthinkable. The plan worked! Between EU members, we've had over 70 years of peace. Okay, peace is great and all, but what are the European Union's achievements and problems? Today, EU citizens benefit from many individual freedoms. EU treaties and regulations ensure easy travel, cheap telecommunications, a great variety of goods and services, as well as very strong health and safety standards. European institutions are not afraid to pick a fight with companies such as Microsoft, Apple or Facebook about fair competition, tax evasion or data protection. Through the EU science programs, the European countries became a collaborative engine that serves as a hub of science in the wider world. Unrestricted travel and the right to work anywhere makes it easy to apply for funds, and set up international teams of experts with the best equipment. In turn, the EU became the world leader in terms of its global share of science researchers, and produces more than twenty-five percent of the world's research output, with only five percent of its population. But many citizens feel distrust toward the EU. Brussels seems far away and untransparent, technocratic, and difficult to understand. It doesn't help that the EU is terrible at outreach, and explaining what it actually does. This disconnect has also led to an ever-shrinking voter turnout over the decades. More transparency and accountability are desperately needed if the EU institutions want the trust of their citizens. Currently, the EU is still shaken by the refugee crisis of 2015. Some countries have accepted far greater numbers of asylum seekers than others, while the border countries are overwhelmed and feel left alone. Other countries are shocked by the initially unregulated mass immigration, and closed their borders, effectively shutting down the largest route into Europe. The EU's wealth and freedom make it an attractive destination, and this is unlikely to change. The population is split on how to react to that. Some argue that Europe let in too many immigrants, with a different culture without strictly demanding integration, while others argue that immigration is not the problem, but that racism and discrimination of immigrants is preventing integration. To strike a balance between helping refugees, turning illegal immigrants away, and successfully integrating the ones that stay, remains one of the most difficult and controversial challenges of the Union. Immigration aside, many more challenges lie in the future, like defense. Traditionally, European countries have relied strongly on the protection of the US through NATO. But in the current political climate, Europe has to ask itself if it really wants to depend on the United States for its safety. If combined today, the militaries of EU members could form an effective defensive force and be the third largest military in the world. That could save a lot of money, safeguard European borders, and enhance cultural understanding with soldiers from 27 different countries serving one common purpose. What about money? Well, it's complicated. The EU created the largest single market in the world. Inside it, you can trade border and customs free. Countries that entered it got a massive boost to their economies. Even between neighbors, trade increased by up to five hundred percent, and there was a steady creation of new jobs. Research has suggested that joining the EU has left Most new members with an average of a twelve percent higher GDP than if they had remained outside. And for those regions with weaker economies and poor infrastructure, EU institutions provide billions of euros every year helping economic investment, infrastructure, and social development. On the negative side, the EU tries to hold together countries with vastly different economies and laws regarding labor, taxes and social security. The cost of one hour of work in an EU country ranges from four euros an hour to forty euros an hour. Some countries have large industries and strong exports while others focus on services, tourism, or natural resources. On top of this, the euro is the common currency of some but not all of these countries. As the Greek crisis shows, this can be a recipe for disaster. You cannot unify a vastly different economies under one currency, but their economic policies separate. So, should all EU countries unite under the common currency, or not? Should the weakest links be thrown out of the Euro, or should countries be made to adopt common policies on taxes, health care, and social security? It's a question that's been brewing for years, and is nowhere near a solution. So, everything briefly considered: Is the European Union worth it? Here is our answer: The EU is very flawed, and still needs a lot of work. But it's fair to say that the European Union makes Europeans powerful in the world. Put together, we lead in science, are one of the strongest economic powers, and could have one of the strongest militaries in the world. But more importantly, the EU gives us peace, security, and a sense of shared identity. And something we all crave in these turbulent times, stability. If we want to protect the values we're so proud of, a strong European Union is the best way to make sure our voice is heard in the world. Alone as small states, we'll hardly stand a chance in a world of shifting superpowers. What do you think about the EU in its future? In recent years, the discussion about political topics has become super toxic with sad real-world consequences. Let's not do that. If you don't agree with this video, you're not our enemy, you just have a different opinion and that's fine. We're all in the same boat after all, so let's have a fact-based discussion about our future.
Channel: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
Views: 5,254,184
Rating: 4.7516861 out of 5
Keywords: European Union, Europe, Brexit, USA, Uk, Germany, France, Frexit, Greece, Euro, Euro Crisis, EU, Brussels
Id: XxutY7ss1v4
Channel Id: undefined
Length: 7min 42sec (462 seconds)
Published: Thu Apr 13 2017
Reddit Comments

I completely agree with this video, the EU is far from perfect, it has many flaws as any large union does. However, many great things, shown in the video, have come out of it as well. The EU is facing difficult issues today and will face many more difficult issues in the future, but I believe the answer is not to dissolve the EU but to work together and try to fix and make EU stronger and better.

👍︎︎ 355 👤︎︎ u/Aureosol 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies

That's a really interesting video. I've noticed that I've become much more pro-EU in the last 2-3 years. I used to view Europe as somewhere foreign and far away that doesn't really affect my life (in Ireland we use "Europe" to refer to mainland Europe).

Since then I've done a lot of traveling around Europe, made a lot of European friends and participated in EU schemes like the European Voluntary Service. We have a lot in common and can benefit much more by working together. The refugee crisis shows the need for a common policy and how we can't selfishly act alone.

It's given me a much more positive impression of Europe and made me feel European for the first time.

👍︎︎ 253 👤︎︎ u/TeoKajLibroj 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies

Funny coincidence that i have an "International economic integration" exam tomorrow. Even thought the video's concept was not related very much i thoroughly enjoyed it.

All i can say to all EU members is this; cherish what you have. For the first time in the history nations joined together willingly. This is bigger than anything.

edit: exam week = bad grammar

edit2: GREAT NEWS! A question related to this video i watched last night came up in the exam!

edit3: I got a 60! Yeahhhh!!

👍︎︎ 306 👤︎︎ u/sinebiryan 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies

The Kurzgesagt channel is one of my favourites. :)

Well-informed and fun to watch videos. If you haven't already, I recommend binge-watching all of their videos.

👍︎︎ 197 👤︎︎ u/_WhyamIstillhere_ 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies
👍︎︎ 200 👤︎︎ u/yednos 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies

We need more videos like this. The European Union has horrible PR, this was a very welcome change. It felt like a breath of fresh air compared to all the negativity and gloom.

Also props to the Kurzgesagt team. All their videos, including this one are incredibly informative and presented really well.

👍︎︎ 444 👤︎︎ u/CopaEuropa 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies

Decent video all considered, it's missing a lot but it's probably oriented at people that don't know anything about the EU.

I don't know about anyone else, but since Brexit I've felt more connected to the EU. I can see the major flaws in it and I think it needs a new wave of institutional reforms to be able to work properly and satisfy every EU citizen.

👍︎︎ 81 👤︎︎ u/Poggor 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies

Let's have a fact base discussion about our future


👍︎︎ 171 👤︎︎ u/U_ve_been_trolled 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies

Okay, but do you know what else was made after WW2 to retain peace in Europe? The eurovision song contest.

An international institution that interconnects the countries in a way that makes war impractical and unthinkable. If Sweden was to invade Norway, for example, they probably wouldn't get 12 points from Norway (they'd probably get max 8).

I'm not saying the ESC is definitely the factor keeping Europe peaceful, all I'm saying is that after centuries of constant conflicts and wars, there has been peace since ESC started, which means the ESC is definitely the factor keeping Europe peaceful.

The EU is cool, too, I guess.

👍︎︎ 106 👤︎︎ u/JustAdolf-LikeCher 📅︎︎ Apr 13 2017 🗫︎ replies
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