Day 8- The EU, the Danube and the “French Cows”

Day 8, our journey started with an interesting lecture given by Filipa Figueira talking about “The EU and its policy focus on the Danube region”. The lecture began with discussing about the EU in a nutshell; the European Union is a politico-economic union between 28 countries that are primarily located in Europe. One of the fascinating parts of the lecture was the discussion of the concept and functions of the European Union, rather than a trade agreement, a country or an international organization, it was in fact a mixture of all of them. The major policies that the EU have implemented through its members were the EU Budget and the EU Regional policy, these policies originally targeted to help poorer countries and regions. However, gradually, it involved helping all countries within the union due to pressure and several interventions. The EU policy to focus on the Danube region did not initiate until 2010, the policy decided to provide money to the region in exchange for the region to improve their own policies in order to bring closer cooperation altogether. Being part of the European Union also means to submit a certain amount of money into the common EU budget, according to the official European Commission chart, over 75% of the budget should be spent in order to stimulate the growth of the market and enlarge employment. However, in reality, there are over half of the budget has gone to the “French cows”, which, at the same time, triggers critique towards the question that whether the EU Budget is a way of wasting money.

Afterwards, we had a discussion around the lecture within the group, the question of what has the European Union brought to the UK was raised, and the possibility of the UK leaving the EU during the referendum in 2017. It has come to a conclusion that instead of reducing the economic disparity, the European Union increased it. We made an agreement that the EU enlarges the disparity between the rich and the poor.

After the tutorial, we were free to use our time to prepare the presentation tomorrow. Hope everything will be fine!

-Tenghua Huang (Slovakia Group)

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