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The European Union: A EUROREALIST VIEW. What is the EU? The EU was founded in 1957 under the Treaty of Rome by France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux.

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Presentation on theme: "The European Union: A EUROREALIST VIEW. What is the EU? The EU was founded in 1957 under the Treaty of Rome by France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux."— Presentation transcript:

1 The European Union: A EUROREALIST VIEW

2 What is the EU? The EU was founded in 1957 under the Treaty of Rome by France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux nations.The EU was founded in 1957 under the Treaty of Rome by France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux nations. The aims:The aims: –Prevention of future war. –Creating an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe. –Encouraging economic co-operation and development. ?

3 The EU today: 27 members, 501m citizens -The most recent members (Romania and Bulgaria) joined in January 2007

4 Why Should We Care About the EU? Approximately half of our laws now originate in an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels!Approximately half of our laws now originate in an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels! Being a member of the EU costs us money. The UK contributed £9.2bn in 2010.Being a member of the EU costs us money. The UK contributed £9.2bn in Only 29% of UK citizens think membership of the EU is a good thing.Only 29% of UK citizens think membership of the EU is a good thing. It is such a politically sensitive issue that none of the major political parties want to talk about it.It is such a politically sensitive issue that none of the major political parties want to talk about it.

5 The Widening and Deepening of European Integration The EU has expanded from 6 to 27 members.The EU has expanded from 6 to 27 members. EU competences now include many areas of policy traditionally reserved for nation states, e.g.EU competences now include many areas of policy traditionally reserved for nation states, e.g. –Single currency –The Social Charter –Border control

6 Why We Should be Concerned 1.The EU is undemocratic. 2.The EU threatens national sovereignty. 3.The EU is corrupt and unaccountable. 4.The EU is crippling the UK economy and business with red-tape and protectionism. 5.The EU is keeping the developing world in poverty.

7 1. The EU is Undemocratic European Commission Unelected bureaucracy, but holds a monopoly on proposing new law. European Parliament Traffics legislation at break-neck speed and can only accept, reject or propose amendments to legislation. Council of Ministers Meets in secret to accept/reject amendments, largely by QMV.

8 2. The EU Threatens Sovereignty The EU has imposed more laws on us than parliament has in 700 years:The EU has imposed more laws on us than parliament has in 700 years: – c Pieces of legislation adopted up to the end of 2010 QMV means the UK can vote against a proposal, yet still have to enact it.QMV means the UK can vote against a proposal, yet still have to enact it. EU law now trumps UK law.EU law now trumps UK law.

9 The EU Constitution The EU drafted a Constitutional Treaty in 2002, which was finalised and signed by representatives of the member states in 2004.The EU drafted a Constitutional Treaty in 2002, which was finalised and signed by representatives of the member states in The Constitution was supposed to combine existing Treaties to clarify what the EUs responsibilities were.The Constitution was supposed to combine existing Treaties to clarify what the EUs responsibilities were. But it was actually a further step in eroding sovereignty:But it was actually a further step in eroding sovereignty: – The EU would derive its powers from its own constitution, not its Member States. –EU given a legal personality –No limits were set on the EUs powers –QMV to become the norm of EU decision-making with national vetoes on 63 issues lost

10 The reformed EU Constitution France and the Netherlands both rejected the EU Constitution in referendums in June France and the Netherlands both rejected the EU Constitution in referendums in June The response of the Constitutions author : The response of the Constitutions author : Lets be clear about this. The rejection of the Constitution was a mistake that will have to be corrected. - Valery Giscard dEstaing The Constitutional project was resurrected under the guise of the Lisbon Treaty The Constitutional project was resurrected under the guise of the Lisbon Treaty It replaced the Constitution (but 96% of its content was the same as the Constitutional Treaty) It replaced the Constitution (but 96% of its content was the same as the Constitutional Treaty)

11 The Lisbon Treaty We are united in our aim of placing the EU on a renewed common basis before EP elections in Berlin Declaration, March 2007 The Lisbon Treaty was signed in December 2007.The Lisbon Treaty was signed in December However, Ireland rejected it in a referendum in June 2008However, Ireland rejected it in a referendum in June 2008 Following controversial negotiations, Ireland voted Yes in a second vote in October 2009.Following controversial negotiations, Ireland voted Yes in a second vote in October The euro-sceptic Czech Republic President, Vaclav Klaus, campaigned against the Treaty, but eventually signed it.The euro-sceptic Czech Republic President, Vaclav Klaus, campaigned against the Treaty, but eventually signed it. The Treaty came into force in December 2009The Treaty came into force in December 2009

12 The Lisbon Treaty Whats included:Whats included: –Institutional changes: Removal of the pillar structureRemoval of the pillar structure Co-decision ordinary legislative procedure (slightly greater role for the EP)Co-decision ordinary legislative procedure (slightly greater role for the EP) New mechanism for the enforcement of the subsidiarity principleNew mechanism for the enforcement of the subsidiarity principle Extension of QMV in Council of MinistersExtension of QMV in Council of Ministers Formalisation of the European Council and its PresidentFormalisation of the European Council and its President –Democracy and Rights Citizens InitiativeCitizens Initiative Withdrawal procedureWithdrawal procedure Charter of Fundamental Rights becomes legally bindingCharter of Fundamental Rights becomes legally binding –Europe as a global actor Legal personalityLegal personality High Representative of the Union for Foreign AffairsHigh Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs External Action ServiceExternal Action Service

13 High Representative for Foreign Affairs: Baroness Catherine Ashton President of the European Council: Herman van Rompuy

14 3.The EU is Corrupt and Accountable to No-one Limited lines of accountability between the EU and its citizens.Limited lines of accountability between the EU and its citizens. The EUs own auditors have refused to sign off EU accounts for the last sixteen years!The EUs own auditors have refused to sign off EU accounts for the last sixteen years! EU accounts show limited links between the billions poured in and where the money actually goes.EU accounts show limited links between the billions poured in and where the money actually goes. EU commissioners and civil servants have immunity from prosecution for life within the EU.EU commissioners and civil servants have immunity from prosecution for life within the EU.

15 Annual Increases in the EU Budget

16 4.Crippling the Economy The total gross cost to the UK of EU membership in 2008 was £65bnThe total gross cost to the UK of EU membership in 2008 was £65bn £28bn on meeting EU regulations£28bn on meeting EU regulations £17bn on additional food costs due to CAP£17bn on additional food costs due to CAP £3.3bn lost due to CFP£3.3bn lost due to CFP £14.6bn direct funding£14.6bn direct funding In 2010, the EU cost UK taxpayers around £300 eachIn 2010, the EU cost UK taxpayers around £300 each The UKs defence spending is only £37bn pa!The UKs defence spending is only £37bn pa!

17 Without the costs of EU membership and regulations, the UK could be £356bn richer by Without the costs of EU membership and regulations, the UK could be £356bn richer by 2018.

18 The uro The euro was launched in Notes and coins were introduced in The euro was launched in Notes and coins were introduced in There are 17 Member States in the Eurozone. There are 17 Member States in the Eurozone. It was intended to make it easier to do business across the EU. It was intended to make it easier to do business across the EU. One size fits all interest rate in the Eurozone is fitting no-one. One size fits all interest rate in the Eurozone is fitting no-one Eurozone crisis - 273bn has been spent so far bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal Eurozone crisis - 273bn has been spent so far bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Why risk entry? Why risk entry?

19 Crippling Business EU legislation costs European business £405bn a year. There is a view that the more regulations you have, the more rules you have, the more Europe you have. -Gunter Verheugen The total net cost of major EU regulations for UK business was £88.3bn at the end of July 2010 The total net cost of major EU regulations for UK business was £88.3bn at the end of July 2010 In a poll of 1000 chief executives, 54% said the costs of the extra regulation outweighed the benefits of the Single Market.In a poll of 1000 chief executives, 54% said the costs of the extra regulation outweighed the benefits of the Single Market. The costs to businesses are considered one of the main barriers to growthThe costs to businesses are considered one of the main barriers to growth E.g. EU rules on safety standards for chemicals in 2010 had the potential to cause many companies to cease manufacturing as they were financially unable to comply.E.g. EU rules on safety standards for chemicals in 2010 had the potential to cause many companies to cease manufacturing as they were financially unable to comply.

20 Protectionism The EU restricts free trade by imposing tariffs (a tax) on imports to the EU.The EU restricts free trade by imposing tariffs (a tax) on imports to the EU. It also subsidises EU producers e.g. through CAP.It also subsidises EU producers e.g. through CAP. Certain EU members, notably France and Spain, openly flout the four economic freedomsCertain EU members, notably France and Spain, openly flout the four economic freedoms This is all against the principle of the Single Market which the EU nominally aims to achieve. This is all against the principle of the Single Market which the EU nominally aims to achieve.

21 Protectionism: the cost to the UK CAP costs the UK c.£10.3bn per year: £398 per household.CAP costs the UK c.£10.3bn per year: £398 per household. UK citizens face an extra £17bn on their food bills because of the CAPUK citizens face an extra £17bn on their food bills because of the CAP This hits the poorest in the UK the hardest.This hits the poorest in the UK the hardest.

22 5. The EU is keeping the developing world poor Exports from developing countries are effectively blocked off by EU tariffs and subsidies.Exports from developing countries are effectively blocked off by EU tariffs and subsidies. Excess agricultural produce in the EU is often dumped in Africa.Excess agricultural produce in the EU is often dumped in Africa. E.g. Sugar – The EU has among the worlds highest sugar production costs, yet it is the worlds biggest producer of white sugar.E.g. Sugar – The EU has among the worlds highest sugar production costs, yet it is the worlds biggest producer of white sugar. World white sugar exports: percentage share of the market (2001)

23 Enlargement On 1 May 2004, 10 new countries, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, joined the EU. On 1 May 2004, 10 new countries, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, joined the EU. Romania and Bulgaria joined on 1 January Romania and Bulgaria joined on 1 January Yet the structure of the EU was built for 6, not 27, member states. It needs reforming. Yet the structure of the EU was built for 6, not 27, member states. It needs reforming. Average GDP per head in the 10 Member States that joined in 2004 was just 52.9% of the EU-15. Average GDP per head in the 10 Member States that joined in 2004 was just 52.9% of the EU-15. The Copenhagen Criteria has been applied too loosely and was not met by Romania and Bulgaria prior to accession. Turkey is even further off. The Copenhagen Criteria has been applied too loosely and was not met by Romania and Bulgaria prior to accession. Turkey is even further off. Enlargement has raised many issues regarding immigration to the UK, the response to which has been chaotic. Enlargement has raised many issues regarding immigration to the UK, the response to which has been chaotic.

24 Immigration Enlargement has resulted in huge migration:Enlargement has resulted in huge migration: –Between 2004 and 2009, net migration from Eastern Europe totalled 304,000 –Many came from Poland. –June : 100,000 people migrated from Central and Eastern Europe to the UK –Numbers dropped during 2008, but increased again from 2010 Migrants are more economically active than the domestic workforce and have put c.£240m into the UK economy.Migrants are more economically active than the domestic workforce and have put c.£240m into the UK economy. But social cohesion is a huge problem.But social cohesion is a huge problem.

25 Better off out? The EU should stop the tide of regulation and focus on where it can make real changes: free trade and CAP reform. The EU should stop the tide of regulation and focus on where it can make real changes: free trade and CAP reform. The EU must return Member States power to revoke legislation. The EU must return Member States power to revoke legislation. The EU is making us poorer, less democratic and less free. – Daniel Hannan MEP Europe should do less, but do it better! – Jacques Delors, 1992


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