Two Countries in EU
Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007. It less developed than the UK.
GNI per head: $11,180
Life expectancy: 73 years
The UK became a member of the EU in 1973
GNI per head: $33,800
Life expectancy: 79
Reasons why Bulgaria is less developed than the UK:
The climate is temperate, but there are droughts in thesummer, and high snowfall and storms in the winter. This makes farming difficult.
Part of Bulgaria is very mountainous e.g. Rhodope mountains cover 12,233km² of Bulgaria. The land on the mountains is steep and has poor soil, also making farming difficult in those areas.
Bulgaria was a communist country between 1944 and 1990 - the government didn't invest in developing the economy.
There have been problems with political corruption since 1990.
Reasons why the UK is more developed than Bulgaria:
The climate is temperate and there aren't many droughts. This creates good conditions for farming.
It has good trade links - the UK has been a major trading centre for hundreds of years
The UK has well developed manufacturing and service industries e.g. insurance, which are very profitable
EU Trying to Reduce Inequalities
Here are some ways in which the EU are trying to reduce inequality between its member countries:
URBAN Community Initiative - Money is given to certain EU cities to create jobs, reduce crime and increase the area of green space e.g. parks
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - Farmers are subsidised to grow certain products. Also, when world food prices are low, the EU buys produce and guarantees farmers a reasonable income. The CAP also puts a high import tax on foreign produce so people in the EU are more likely to buy food produced in the EU. All these things improve the quality of life for farmers.
Structural Funds - These provide money for research and developement, improving employment opportunites, reducing discrimination and improving transport links. The aims of the fund is to get all member of the EU to a similar level of development, reducing the inequalities within Europe.
SAPARD gives money to Bulgaria and two other countries to invest in agriculture
FUNDS have been partially frozen until the government show it's making progress in fighting corruption