Note: The Euro is a distinct concept to the European Union. The Euro is a Single Currency adopted by 16 of the EU members.
Some of the Benefits of the European Union include:
- Peace amongst nations - European Union countries are no longer at loggerheads like they were in the past. With the exception of Yugoslavia (who wasn't in the EU at the time), Europe has managed to heal the divisions which were so painfully exposed in the two World Wars in the Twentieth Century. The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.
- Economic development of countries like Portugal, Ireland and Spain. These countries made great strides in catching up with their other European neighbours. After the fall of Berlin Wall, Eastern European economies, such as Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary have also seen strong growth in real GDP..
- Free trade and removal of non-tariff barriers have helped reduce costs and prices for consumers. Over 60% of UK exports is to the EU. Trade within the EU has increased 30% since 1992.
- Environmental treaties which have sought to deal with European wide environmental problems such as acid rain, global warming, e.g. Commitment to use 20% renewable energy.
- Free movement of labour and capital have helped create a more flexible economy. For example, UK and Ireland have benefited from immigration of Eastern European workers. In the boom years, many eastern European workers moved to Ireland, but in the recession of 2009, returned home.
- Prospect of membership has helped modernise Turkey. Copenhagen Criteria enshrine commitment to human rights, rule of law and market economy. The prospect of gaining membership of the EU, encourage countries to implement human rights legislation.
- EU is one of strongest economic areas. It accounts for 20% of world GDP, from 6% of world's population.
- EU has enabled people to travel freely across national boundaries making trade and tourism easier and cheaper. According to the European Commission, more than 15 million EU citizens have moved to other EU countries to work or to enjoy their retirement.
- 1.5 million young people have completed part of their studies in another Member State with the help of the Erasmus programme. The possibility to study abroad is considered positive by 84% of EU citizens. (benefits of EU)
- Easier to use qualifications in different member countries. This makes it easier to work abroad without having to retrain in national qualifications.
- Mutual recognition of safety standards and rules have helped reduce costs for firms. This has encouraged the development of small and medium business who rely on low cost of exports.
- Social Charter enshrines protection for workers such as maximum working week, right to collective bargaining and fair pay for employment. (UK opted out).
- Countries in the EU, are amongst the highest positions in the Human Development Index (HDI)
- 50 Benefits of the European Union at Independent
- Economic Problems of the European Union
- European Union
- Benefits of Joining Euro
- Problems of Euro