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


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.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. If you don't like it leave it ….
    You have no right to change it or end it …

    Who the fuck are these monkeys granting themselves additional rights while denying others their most basic rights …even the right to live or exist….

    When will this madness stop….

  2. Guys just imagine if the Romans didn't fail, but instead developed strong bureaucratic system and central government over all the distinct province. Spread Latin and currency standard to every corner it conquered and unify all groups of people under one Augustus and Europe will probably be like another China! And there won't be this problem cuz you will be one country. The Europeans toady would call themselves Romans just like the Chinese call themselves Chinese without giving it a second thought but solidly committed to the hyperreal idea of one civilization.

    Just a funny thought I discussed with my history teacher. Thank you for a brilliant video from two years ago!

  3. Like everything else it depends on how you're situated. The EU is great for poorer states and horrible for richer ones. That's why Britain wants out. Overnight they were flooded with people from poor states willing to work for 1/4 of what Brits were. If you keep letting poor people into rich countries then it's going to suck as badly here as it does there and everyone loses. Those people need to learn to fix and make their own countries work. The best way to help them is tough love. No aid, handouts or allowing of refugees. That's the only way they'll buckle down and do the hard and necessary work. And if they don't that's evolution's way of weeding them out so no great loss.

  4. as we see in all country, people move to capital where it have more job and better life quality, leave poor country poor and got less and less people….

    same thing happen in EU but in bigger scale, people leaving country, try to get into better one that already crowded, that bring more law problem

  5. A unelected bunch of foreigners in a comity council in Brussel tells other countries how many immigrants they have to take in from the 3rd world.
    Britain did the correct move.

  6. Britain and France have to many ICBMs for a country to try to invade them. They sure do not care about the military protection.

  7. It annoys me that he says 'Europeans' a lot. Isn't that what happened in the USSR? You weren't Russian/Polish/German… you were Soviet

  8. The EU is another step towards world Peace, hopefully in order

    North American union
    |
    South American union
    |
    The American union

    Asian United union
    |
    Eurasian union

    Australia/New Zealand union
    |
    America-A/NZ union

    World union

  9. I don't know, or much care, what most other Americans think about the EU, but I personally think it's absolutely brilliant. Just the level of peace and prosperity it's brought to its member nations and the rest of the world is remarkable considering the condition of many of those same countries over the 200-ish years prior to the EU. The fact that 3 world wars (if you include the European wars around the period of the American revolution as a world wars) were each begun by European conflicts, but there have essentially been no European-based wars since the EU's founding is more than enough reason for its existence imo.

  10. Article 13, Forced immigration, and rule from disconnected bureaucrats. No idea why anyone would want to stay. Poland and Hungary are good examples of what the E.U should be. An economic union. Not a political one. One that doesn't tell countries how to rule themselves.

  11. I think that more unity in the EU could be great, (and I am from Europe), but, to be honest, I don't want a kind of "United States of Europe" only for a reason: I don't want my motherstate disappear, I am not an "European", I am Italian, not more. Then it could be problematic the language, it's impossible to have hundreds of languages in one single state, no? And maybe it couldn't look like, but the english is quite difficult for who is born talking a different language.
    So for me is ok to make the EU more unite as a group, with an army (even if we should be peaceful, it's not impossible that someone could attack us in future), with similar systems in schools, health and hospitals, governments ect.. but we are not ready at all to become one state

  12. One europe it's good, but one army no no no.
    Whats next in the future? one language, one prezident and micro chips in hands,

  13. One minute in and you lied.

    The EU was never about peace, that's nato. The EU was the eec and was about trade.

  14. As a atheist and liberal Turk, I love and support the EU. I wish, I will live in any european country; It's all i want. I'm learning English and French. I love European peoples, the EU culture and European countries. Long live EU!

  15. And, as people found out recently, Brussels has totally taken over all the European countries. The refugee crisis showed up the iron fisted policies of Brussels, forcing countries to take them, like it or not. THAT is what has led to Brexit even though it is politically incorrect to say so. And Brussels is getting even more strict on it's policies and rules. So much so that the individual countries are losing more and more of their sovereignty and traditions. The so-called "peace" is the peace of totalitarian rule. The time of France and Germany starting wars with each other was long over before the EU became a "thing." Even if it was completely dissolved, wars would not break out between the principle countries involved. That time is well passed and will not return. Especially given the common enemy of Russia and China. Peace will continue just fine without the EU, TYVM.

  16. Is the migration crisis gonna be solved if Poland, Italy and Hungary accept to take in the number of migrants and refugees the Europeans are telling?

    And if they do take in, won't be left any other migrant/refugee on the outside? So these people's life don't matter? They were…unlucky?

  17. Well seeing as how the European Union has completely ruined Europe over the past 10 years I'd say it was a horrible idea from the very beginning

  18. Europe with its sheer size cannot form a union like the United States if you have a nation like Sweden who is hell bent on replacing its population with Immigrants from a different culture entirely changing the Sweden we know as today but on the other side have Nations like Poland whose people are not afraid to defend their borders, faith, culture by any means and are not afraid of being called out a Racist. Europe is very diverse, and a single law cannot effectively govern the Union. In America, we had almost Identical culture and ideology in the beginning, thus assembling the Union and forming The United States of America, a union governed by one entity and its law, yet we give more autonomy to states than EU does to its member states, even though EU is a union whereas we are a Country.
    Europe needs to either make its root culture extremely homogeneous, or provide very high autonomy to its Member states more than even the United States, thus defeating its purpose for existence.
    And not to mention the power major nations like Germany exert on EU. Whereas here in America we have Representatives and Senators representing the state on a federal level with equal power and provision, EU is basically Dominated by nations like Germany, France, Italy and the UK (Still part of the Union).
    How many times does nations like Belgium had a say in any laws regarding its citizens? I don't even think small nations like Belgium have the power to vote for no confidence in case of a law detrimental to the Belgian Citizens.
    EU needs heavy restructuring and Power Management to give almost equal power to every member state.

  19. The immigration crisis aside, the EU had already stagnated internally on progress towards being a true superstate. Just like the U.S., regional chasms exist on fundamental social issues and the sense that each historical identity must be preserved instead of welcoming the identity of the overall federal superstate.

    Integration is the key and it was already blunted by existing European rivals within the Union so the migrant flood just made the fears worse.

    Post Brexit, it's still worth it for France and Germany to try and wrangle the union into a true functional federation because the alternative presents far uglier options.

    To function properly, the EU must behave more like a unified family instead of a group of "bachelor states" sharing a condo for convenience.

  20. A união europeia é a cooperação mais admirável que já existiu, eu enquanto cidadão europeu tenho orgulho má união europeia e espero que ela evolua para cada vez melhor. Acredito no potencial da união e acho que a saída do reino unido poderá ser erro, tudo bem que existem alguns problemas mas todos devíamos de ter orgulho e nos sentirmos cidadãos europeus

  21. You cant allow people earning 4 euros an hour to be able to join and use freedom of movement to undercut higher paying countries. Recipe for disaster.

  22. Sounds like a version of the sound of music! Such a happy clappy club. Forget the corruption, the lack of democracy and the absence of accountability! Oh and forget the destruction of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain! Oh why, oh why did UK leave?

  23. Of course is a good thing. All the people out there stating article 13.. Guys most likely you are from USA. the biggest slavery machine ever built. I actually agree with article 13.

  24. I really don't understand who dislikes Kurzgesagt videos. I get that some can strongly disagree with whatever but to go an extra step and leave a dislike under such great works of art, science and sociology is beyond my understanding

  25. My main problem with this video is that most of the benefits are not even benefits. You act as if global trade is only possible with the EU, whereas this is not true. The US is not in an EU-like institution yet trades with Europe and China. Because of this, your point about the EU being a peacemaker for the countries involved is moot.

    The EU is making uniform laws decreases competition between countries that allows them to test out policies. Italy wants to limit immigration, the UK does not. Let’s see where they’re both at in a few years.

    There’s more to elaborate on but I’m tired and forgot half of the video already. If I get a reply I’ll continue.

  26. The eurosceptic usually (as I do) don't object to stronger economic ties. Hwat we object is THE POLITICAL UNION. That is creating a United States of Europe which destroys nation-states and national sovereignity. That is what we don't like. Plus EU bureaucrats telling us how to govern. Most importantly is the mass immmigration which the elite gave.

  27. This is a load of poppycock the EU is a international conglomerate of the largest corporate powers that were rejected a controlling positioned within the U.N. and your just a puppet promoting such crap

  28. Usually i like your videos, but honestly in this video you haven't bring so much analytic data. The european army isn't so usefull how you think… We had the PeSco and it's enough for now. I did a debate on this topic, but my english level don't let me to post here all my opinion, Sorry.

  29. I think EU is a great thing, with lots of benefits for all the members, like the free trade, but there are also lots of think to improve. First of all the money. I think € is good because you can go pretty everywhere in Europe and don't change your money, but for the economy of some states, like Greece and Italy, it has cause big troubles. For immigrants, I see everyday how bad EU is doing. All the border country are let alone with all the migrants and we can't continue in this way. EU must to stop all the boats with irregular migrants and do not leave there to enter in EU. The percentage of crimes is drastically increased because of irregular migrants. But obviously, who is regualar can enter and live in EU. At the end, there are lot of things good and lot to improve but EU is a great help for all the members.

  30. 7:14 "Team UK blasting of agaaaaaaaaaaaaiin" – BLINK

    What hash the UK governments made of it. And all because of the tax dodgers

  31. HAHAHAHA – So it's the fault of Europe's population that the immigrants don't "adapt" to the western society!??? The EU did not "create" a market, the EU was trying to "hide" the national deficits of almost all members!!!! You have no idea what you are talking about!

  32. THE EU IS VER"Y FLAUD – BUT IT MAKES EUROPEANS POWERFUL??? And it provides STABILITY??? I've never heard so much nonsense in one short video!

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