Aims and achievements of the EU

  • Created by: Q_
  • Created on: 18-04-19 18:56

Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: to promote peace, the values of the EU.

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • The member nations of the EU have not fought each other since the end of WW2.
  • Rising living standards and economic growth have coincided with the EU's existence. 
  • Democracy and the rule of law operate in EU countries. 

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • The EU faces new threats from an increasingly aggressive Russia.
  • The rise of populist anti-EU parties over the last decade shows the frustration felt by citizens who feel that the EU has not enriched their lives.
  • The EU has been criticised for having a democratic deficit.
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Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: freedom, security and justice without internal borders.

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • All EU countries are part of the single market, in which the four freedoms apply.
  • 22 of the 23 EU member states are members of the Schengen Area, in which there are no border controls between countries. 
  • EU countries work together on policing and anti-terrorism, including using the European Arrest Warrant to arrest criminals across the EU. 

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • Not all EU countries are in the Schengen Area: the UK and the Republic of Ireland both chose to opt out. 
  • Border checks can be reimposed by Scengen members in the event of a security threat, as France did after the 2015 terror attacks. 
  • Since the 2015 migration crisis, border controls have been reintroduced by Schengen states including Austria and Denmark, to stop migrants from the middle east and Africa arriving via other countries in the Schengen Area. 
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Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: balanced economic growth, a competitive market economy with full employment and environmental protection.

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • The EU has led to the development of competitive economies, encouraging eastern European countries to transition from communist states to flourishing capitalist economies. 
  • EU environmental regulations are stricter than those of individual nations, resulting in higher standars of air quality, beach cleanliness and the protection of species and habitats. 

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • The 2008 economic crisis damaged economies of EU nations. 
  • Unemployment rose dramatically in some EU countries (20.9% in Greece in January 2018) and the overall unemployment rate is higher in the EU than in the USA (7.3% in the EU in December 2017, compared to 4.1% in the USA).
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Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: to combat social exclusion and discrimination.

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • EU law protects individuals' human rights.
  • EU citizens have freedom of movement and cannot be discriminated against. 

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • The migration crisis exposed some of the prejudice within EU countries, demonstrated by attacks on refugee housing. 
  • In May 2018, the right-wing government in Hungary announced legislation to restrict help for asylum seekers. 
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Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: scientific and technological progresses. 

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • The European Research Area encourages sharing of scientific knowledge, research and skills. 
  • Billions of euros of EU funding are spent on science and technology.
  • The European Research Council's investments in scientific research have led to numerous breakthroughs. 

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • EU countries invest less in research and development than their main competitors (e.g. the USA and China). 
  • The USA is more effective at turning research and new technology into world-leading businesses, e.g. Facebook and Google. 
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Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: economic, social and territorial cohesion among member countries.

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • By pooling sovereignty, EU nations have been able to act as a united front.
  • The EU is the second largest economy in the world. By working together, EU nations make better trade deals with non-EU countries than if they negotiated alone.
  • The single market created more than 2.5 million jobs from 1992 to 2006.
  • The EU protects workers' rights.
  • The EU provides hundreds of billions of euros of funding to less economically developed regions.

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • Brexit shows the limitations of EU solidarity.
  • Strong anti-EU voices in other countries have called for their own referendum on EU membership.
  • The single market over-regulates small businesses. 
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Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: to respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity. 

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • The EU has 24 official languages and provides funding for language learning.
  • Ever year, 2 EU cities are selected as European capitals of culture.

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • The EU has been criticised for its large expenditure on translation services.
  • The EU's goal that every citizen should speak two languages in addition to their mother tongue had been achieved by only 25% of people in 2014.
  • A number of EU countries have introduced a ban on face-coverings worn by some Muslim women. 
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Aims and achievements of the EU

Aim: to establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro. 

Evidence aim has been achieved:

  • 19 member states (known as the Eurozone) use the euro.
  • The euro is the world's second most-traded currency (after the dollar).

Evidence the aim has not been achieved:

  • The EU's second biggest economy, the UK, chose not to join the euro. 
  • The 2008 economic crisis exposed the problems caused by a range of very different economies sharing the same currency. 
  • This led to a long period of near-recession for the Eurozone and forced austerity cuts in countries such as Greece which fuelled the rise of populist anti-EU parties. 
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