Money-plants
The European Union had a budget of €143 billion in 2014. That’s not an insignificant amount of cash, even if it only represents around 1% of the Gross National Income (GNI) of the 28-member bloc. It’s money that could be spent on other things (something particularly worth considering when public sector budgets are being squeezed). So, what do countries get for their “membership fee”? And are the benefits worth the costs?

The amount a country pays into the budget depends upon the size of its economy, with some countries ending up as net beneficiaries while others are net contributors. In 2014, the largest contributors to the budget included Germany (€25.81 billion), France (€19.58), Italy (€14.37 billion), the UK (€11.34 billion), and Spain (€9.98).

We had a comment sent in by James arguing that the value of EU membership was more than just a bean-counting exercise:

Image of a citizenIt’s difficult to quantify ‘value for money’ here. What price can we put on Pax Europaea, the period of peace since the end of WWII? We don’t know what the world would look like without the EU, so it’s difficult to say for certain whether it would be better or worse.

To get a response, we spoke to Beatrix Von Storch, an MEP with the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). She disagreed with James, arguing that savings could be made by returning more rights and powers to Member States:

von-storchI think we spend too much on the European Union because there are too many responsibilities which have been given to the European level. So, I would rather have more sovereign rights at the national level, and less at the European level. Then it would not be as expensive as it is.

On the other hand, we had Dr Sofia Vasilopoulou, Lecturer at the Department of Politics of the University of York, who argued that we shouldn’t take EU membership for granted:

Dr-Sofia-VialopolouThe EU is about much more than value for money. But our ability to penetrate international markets is value for money, as is trade without tariffs and customs. It’s also ‘value for money’ to be part of a large trading bloc and negotiate with other countries in the world as part of that trading bloc.

We often take the EU for granted. We take for granted travelling without a visa, or that we can move freely within the EU and go and live in Spain or any other country indefinitely.

Also, we’re taking for granted the cultural exchange we have; the learning of new languages, and the Erasmus programme, which is precisely tailored for younger people. A classic example is roaming charges; roaming charges have been decreasing and will eventually be phased out. It all comes from EU, and we take it for granted.

Is the EU worth the money? Or would transferring powers back to the national level help save billions? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Images Money


216 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • bert van santen

      Agree 100%

    • Ilidio Vitoriano

      Yes. Even if it is wrong, this are pennies compared to the major benefits that a whole continent is benefiting. If this is the best argument you can find, then I’m confident that EU is a long term project looooooool

  1. Paul X

    Dr Sofia Vasilopoulou really has swallowed the EU propaganda pill hasn’t she?

    Trade… we already pay for our national government who should be capable of negotiating trade deals with countries outside the EU but the EU won’t allow them to do this. So we have to pay additional money to the EU for them to do something they will not allow our own government to do…call that value for money?

    Travel and living in other countries? Erasmus?, Roaming charges?..all of these only benefit minorities……. the majority of UK taxpayers who at most may travel to Europe for a holiday once a year are certainly paying a hell of a lot for just not having to show a passport and using their mobile …call that value for money?

    ..and as for James and the tired old claim that the EU is responsible for peace in Europe since WW2, where have these people been that believe this?…there has been plenty of unrest in various European countries since WW2 but the only thing that has prevented WW3 breaking out has been NATO and the nuclear deterrent

    • Yasmine

      Which pill have you swallowed, Paul? The one of self-delusion and bitterness?

    • Paul X

      Yasmine, it’s called a reality check pill

  2. Mimis Petridis

    As working environment for the incompetent offsprings of national politicians, EU is doing just great

  3. David Fuzzey

    NO. It is a waste of time and Money….and thelikes of junker and schulz a waste of oxygen.

  4. Toni Muñiz

    The EU isn’t worth the cost of the paper it is founded on. It is worthless to Europeans.

  5. Ray Upson

    So far no one has said why they dont think its worth the cost, typical of exit people.

    • Paul X

      A nice double negative there, typical of pro-EU people

      Until someone in the EU clearly documents (and most importantly, publishes) a detailed breakdown of where the EU budget is being spent then people are quite rightly entitled to suspect that information is being withheld because their money is not being spent wisely

    • Bryan W

      We pay £55m per day for membership. We receive a rebate and some payments to certain industries. We are left with a deficit of £23m per day. This money is our money, there is no such thing as government money. This deficit pays for the laws imposed on our country by people we have not elected. For decades now, we have allowed successive governments to give away our rights to self govern and for our people to determine our own future. I do believe there have been wars fought over these issues in the past.

    • Yasmine

      You wouldn’t necessarily have this money if you were not in the EU, Bryan, as you would not have the same volume of trade…

  6. EU reform- proactive

    On a personal level- the political concocted EU cannot:

    *Buy my soul.
    *Sell me a job, organize me a deal or connection.
    *Win my loyalty & allegiance.
    *Win my trust & confidence.
    *Impress me any further.

    €143 billion can achieve much more by:

    *Restructure the EU & model groupings on the advanced principles contained in the: http://worldhappiness.report/

    *Reduce & recall all EU officials to their home base- no more EU extravaganza.
    *The local Constitution & sovereignty to reign supreme AGAIN.
    *All communications (intra-discussions, conferences, meetings between nations) by means of electronic media only.
    *Invest & modernize local parliamentary infrastructure- if needed.
    *Introduce electronic direct democracy & voting systems
    *Supply every registered voter (if in need) with a PC and ADSL connection- for free.
    *Maybe hold a once a year reunification meeting of all new Member ministers- or celebrate at a X-mas party a successful year end & be happy!

  7. Stefania Portici

    no , non vale la pena perchè potremmo anche essere disposti a fare sacrifici per i nostri figli e i figli dei nostri figli mentre non siamo disposti a farle per le banche e la finanza speculatrice. Di tutti quei denari ( tramutati in beni ) che noi stiamo dando a lacrime e sangue non va al popolo. Prima la UE finisce e meglio è per tutti noi , per tutti i cittadini dell’Unione europea, BASTA UE, fine !

    • Luciana NAVERRI

      Vedrà come starà bene dopo! Pensi che con l’Unione Europea non c’è più stata una guerra tra Europei!Pensi a De Gasperi,Spinelli,;Adenauer,Delors e tanti altri.. Senza l’Unione, l’Europa sarebbe un ‘insieme di Stati e Staterelli senza alcun potere.Ammetto che in questi ultimi anni ,la situazione è peggiorata moltissimo.Perche? Perchè non ci sono più uomini politici degni di questo nome.
      Le decisioni all’Unione le prendono i politici e non i funzionari della Commissione Europea o i parlamentari europei.Malgrado tutto, le assicuro,dopo aver lavorato per 35 anni all’Unione, che senza Europa oggi starebbe molto peggio!!

  8. ironworker

    I don’t think so, however some people might disagree. 1% is not unbearable much, but so far, in actual configuration of the Union, not everyone out of the 28’s get a fair share from the pie, so why bother ?

  9. Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Tell the countries complaining about their contributions to the EU to start taxing the super-rich and mega-corporations to match their EU contributions tenfold if not more and quit whining. Put the people first and stop giving the mega-rich too much money they don’t need.

  10. Dóris Cavalcanti

    Over PRIORITY OF EU IS NOT EUROPEANS. And this is an EXPERIMENT! Read it:
    http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/index_en.htm

    10 BILLIONS in 2 years! Plus the billions that we, enslaved workers-taxpayers, pay for them inside our countries, amount that the governments don’t even know how much it is.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2224174387721174&set=a.101457473326220.2187.100003859025336&type=3&theater

    And all those huge cost for people who don’t care about teaching hatred-violence to their children who grow up and become those evil adults destroying and killing their own people and countries.

    All those huge costs while we, enslaved workers-taxpayers, don’t have proper health care-security-retirement-wage-elderly care inside our countries.

    Besides, those situations of disgraces and miseries are endless because EU and UN just keep using palliatives by feeding them to have more time and energy to go on making more wars and-or children and-or corruption, no demands to them to take responsibility and start working and building their lives and countries.

    All this irresponsible decisions from EU just because a bunch of arrogant politicians decides to make an experiment according to high representative Federica Mogherini – EU/EEAS:
    “Europe is the more advanced EXPERIMENT of living together”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0QAYds2f3o&feature=youtu.be

    Since the beginning of the 90’s, after all this time paying so high taxes to finance EU politicians’ dishonest vain illusions, they just delivered this dangerous chaos today because they take our lives as experiments in a laboratory. They play with our lives, that are very different of theirs, and this is why they think that there is a “SUNNY SIDE THAT IS EXCITING TIMES” as Madam Federica declares.

    EU have played with our lives and the future of our children! Their philosophical illusions are becoming nightmares, the world has worsened according to UN despite all the xx-millions of billions EU-UN have taken from our taxes to finance their uppish experiments seeking for power.

    Until when will we continue to be slaves paying for your arrogant delusions??? We, workers-taxpayers, are human too and we have the human rights of living safe and work to support only our own livelihood!

  11. Ray Upson

    Ivan Burrows… FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST… “WHAT HAS THE EU EVER DONE FOR US?”

    PEACE

    Let’s not forget why the EU exists. It may have swelled into a wheezing, bureaucratic monster, but its origins were all about peace. The EU was created to make war impossible, by tying the European economies together. It’s a peace that still lasts today. When France called on its EU neighbours to lend military assistance after last year’s terror attacks, it was a proud moment. The EU stood together.
    [ Nato came first, but that involved more than European nations. Within the EU there is a lot of cooperation on defense and peace keeping. Its existence ensuring there is cohesion in Europe ensure the stability of NATO.]

    LUCRATIVE TRADE AGREEMENTS

    The idea that we could make better trade agreements on our own is simply arrogant and naive.

    The EU, and its 740 million consumers, is in a much better position to negotiate with the world than the UK alone (with just 64 million consumers). It’s simple economics.

    As for the 50% of our existing trade with the EU, we’ll spend years negotiating the very same deal. And we’ll still have to adhere to all the same rules.

    What about China? Well, China’s economy is haemorrhaging at the moment, dragging the entire world with it. Thank your lucky stars we’re not tied more closely with this volatile giant. And when China does come to the table, you better believe they’re going to the 740 million consumers in Europe before us.

    Nissan factories, Google Headquarters, Coca-Cola etc…

    These enormous global companies have set up their European base in London. But it’s not because they like the view. They set up in London because we’re a gateway to Europe. Which is exactly how the UK government sells itself in its official business brochure, by the way.

    The only reason London is the biggest host of foreign business is our link to the EU. Even George Osbourne’s tight relationship with Google isn’t enough to keep them from moving to Paris or Berlin.

    As for the automotive industry, the chairman of Nissan has already expressed concern about Brexit, and made it clear that the EU is incredibly important to their business. Nissan aren’t alone.

    MULTICULTURALISM AND TOLERANCE

    The entire rhetoric surrounding our place in Europe has been soured and vilified by immigration. Let us never forget we send as many migrants to Europe as we take in. (2.2 million, if you’re wondering).

    The EU has been a powerful force in normalising multiculturalism. It has bred tolerance and encouraged compassion. Freedom of movement has softened arrogance and distrust.

    Inevitably, this multiculturalism has also given birth to savage pockets of intolerance. A ‘No’ to Brexit gives a clear sign that our future lies in acceptance.

    THE REGENERATION OF BIRMINGHAM AND WALES

    The EU has an egalitarian heart. It invests huge amounts of money in the struggling countries of Europe. (Our 1% of GDP contribution to this fund is often cited as a reason for leaving). Although we don’t get out as much as we put in, some of that money is funnelled to the north of England (and heavily into Wales). It’s a region that our own government is less inclined to invest in directly.

    The regeneration of Birmingham’s New Street station was paid for by EU funds. Look closely, and you’ll see ‘funded by the EU’ signs across the North. Where the Tories look at with disdain, the EU looks with compassion.

    CLEAN BEACHES AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS

    A realistic and meaningful agreement on environmental standards will only ever come from collaboration. Without the EU setting restrictions, there would be very little environmental conscience in Westminster.

    As an organisation, the EU leads the world on environmental policy. We can thank European regulations for our clean beaches and investment into alternative energy. Or perhaps we’d all prefer to wake up in a city full of smog, like Beijing?

    JOBS

    Our link to Europe fosters more than 3.1 million jobs. Of course, those jobs won’t just evaporate if we vote to leave. But it will throw up insecurity and unanswered questions. The biggest global companies in London will debate whether to move their operations. It will take a while for the dust to settle, and even longer to encourage big Asian and Indian firms to fill the gap.

    CHILD MAINTENANCE JUSTICE

    Behind the scenes, the EU enforces a lot of useful laws on domestic issues such as child maintenance and abduction. Before the EU laws kicked in, it was entirely possible to skip the country to avoid maintenance payments. Leaving the EU could leave us unable to tap into these justice systems.

    WAGES, HOLIDAYS, MATERNITY AND PATERNITY LEAVE

    The EU enforces most of the universal laws of maternity/paternity leave, and basic work holiday allocation. The Trade Union Congress chief, Frances O’Grady, yesterday claimed that these rights are at risk if Britain votes to leave. There would certainly be pressure from businesses to relax the existing regulations.

    SOLIDARITY AGAINST EXTREMISM

    We talk about the EU like it’s a bureaucratic machine, but it’s more than that. It’s a community. It’s solidarity against extremism. The EU is stronger when we are united. We are almost certainly weaker and more vulnerable alone.

    So, apart from free trade, solidarity, jobs, environmental sustainability, justice, and peace, what has the EU ever done for us?

    • Athanasios Spyropoulos

      Don’t forget all the Eu students that come to study in Britain. I was one of them.

    • Paul X

      So many if’s, maybes and downright untruths in one quote?

      Trade and jobs: Nobody knows for sure, could go either way but becoming a favorite topic for scaremongering

      Multiculturalism and tolerance: The current immigration crisis and rise of far Right parties is evidence of the EU’s success with that

      Regerenration: Like we really need to send money to the EU for them to send a little back and tell us here to spend it? Fine if you actually use Birmingham station, not much use to the other 99.9% of the UK population

      Justice: UK justice system is better than any in Europe

      Wages, holidays etc: Socialist legislation through the back door

      Solidarity against extremism: Solidarity wont stop a terrorist attack, decent border control may help

      “We talk about the EU like it’s a bureaucratic machine” …. ah, finally a bit of truth at the end

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @ Ray Upson
      PEACE
      NATO preceded the EC never mind the EU, thus peace is a NATO rather than an EU plus.

      LUCRATIVE TRADE AGREEMENTS
      Said agreements would be more lucrative if the UK negotiated for itself. BTW what EU are you talking about with its 740 million people?

      MULTICULTURALISM AND TOLERANCE
      The UK was far more multicultural and STILL IS than the EU.

      CLEAN BEACHES AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS
      Yes, the EU was on the whole good for same.

      CHILD MAINTENANCE JUSTICE
      The EU justice system is of a lower standard than the UK’s.

      WAGES, HOLIDAYS, MATERNITY AND PATERNITY LEAVE
      Yes, quite right BUT soon the EU-USA TTIP will push such goo measures backwards!

      SOLIDARITY AGAINST EXTREMISM
      Solidarity yes but NOT SAFETY!!

      Try and be more objective when next you post.

    • bert van santen

      “We talk about the EU like it’s a bureaucratic machine, but it’s more than that. It’s a community. It’s solidarity against extremism. The EU is stronger when we are united. We are almost certainly weaker and more vulnerable alone”

      The community that was formed in the EC time was stronger then the EU ever will be.
      The € and politics have caused a huge split in the European common thoughts.
      Little is left from the EC achievement of working together as much as possible, now paying other banks debts, due to mismanagement.
      And the worst of all is, the same people responsable for the trouble and the crisis causing it, not even were being convicted, or sent to jail!!!
      Yes, we need EUROPE, we need each other, but we need something better then the EU.
      The EU doesn`t work.

    • Josh

      You will find that the EU has no money of it’s own, the people that paid for the regeneration of Birmingham and Wales came from the taxpayers of the UK and they also pay for all those EU propaganda signs that are a waste of taxpayers money and should have read Paid for by the taxpayers of Wales and Birmingham

    • Barrie

      Hello,
      let me question some of the statements made above! It is NATO which has kept the peace in Europe not the EU, and continues to do so. Have we forgotten Bosnia? When the EU intervened there it was a disaster. It took the United Nations with NATO’s help to stop the war, NOT the EU. For further facts look at Crimea, has the EU been any help, I think not! Let me make one more statement and then ask a simple question. All major companies, governments etc have by law to show an annual budget. In 40 years+ the EU has NEVER had a budget approved. The last accountant tasked with this job was sacked because she refused to sign the accounts off and said ‘there is too much money missing and I cannot account for it!’ She was promptly sacked and the reasons given were, ‘she brought the EU into disrepute and her loyalty was questionable’. It took 2+ years for the courts to find in her favour and she was paid thousands of Euros in
      compensation. My question, Would you invest in this type of company? All the other comments you have made Ray regarding Unions, Holidays, Cash etc can all be solved by a democratic process called National Government where your ability to sack inefficiency etc can be done through a process called voting. The best description I have heard of the top echelon of the EU came from this gentleman.
      This is the best definition of the E.U. that I have ever seen, and I wish I had written it!, but no, its from a gentleman named Charles Moore. in the English Daily Telegraph in his Notebook column. I Quote:-
      “If there is one thing the EU is good at, it is providing career opportunities, summit meetings, conference circuits and pensions for administrative and political elites. Its fiercer critics say it is a dictatorship. They are wrong; if it were, its evil would be in plain view and we could get rid of it by getting rid of the dictator. No, the EU is an oligarchy – a form of permanent supranational government by a relatively small mutual support group of highly educated people which has worked out how to stay in power without the boring task of submitting itself to general elections.”
      Support whom you may Ray, thats you democratic right but please do some more investigation of a very dubious organisation.

  12. Olivier Dutreil

    No.europe promised welfare and employment.we have none of them but more norms more socialism less protection unfair competition…more taxation

  13. Alex Tselentis

    EU is a financial slave camp that has failed horribly .. Europastan with its new Sultan Erdogan holding Europe in his hands, the EU is a joke and a waste of time.

  14. Sebastien Chopin

    Its worth every penny if you consider that it really only has the powers it has been graceffuly granted by the member states which have remained sovereign and done everything possible to keep things that way….- even if they claim they aren’t and blame it for everything – in order to prevent its development and kill the dream.. the utopia we’re aiming for..
    Today the EU is first necessity markets, collaboration and global competitiveness…which can’t be dealt with on a home basis against the Chinese, Indians, the US or anyone else more competitive than us… which is almost everyone..
    It is not social nor belligerent because member states have always wanted to keep the power they possibly could to themselves – in particular the shitty reps – (politicians) to pursue their dreams of power and superiority over the masses…whether they be right left or centre in order to influence or win the next election
    Direct democracy through regional policy is the only real way forward. Without Cameron, Farage and the other twats.. and the only way towards that is through the EU.
    You can always sell ideas to the stupid; illustrated with delusions of sovereignty and grandeur… but at the end of the day each pact, or negotiation is a loss of sovereignty… in exchange for something else… so at the end of the day the whole debate is nonsense and we’re being fed bullshit…
    If we’re smart we’ll get rid of the old governments and start a common new one… in the interest of the regions and the people…

    • Paul X

      Can’t quite see your logic old chap?

      So you want to get rid of national governments whose politicians want to “pursue their dreams of power and superiority over the masses” and replace it with one common EU government who (going on past history) clearly want to “pursue their dreams of power and superiority over the masses” ……?

      Your utopia may be living in an identity-less “region” of some European superstate but some of are actually proud of our country

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Sebastien Chopin
      Illogical posting.

    • Josh

      When you can find politicians that have managed to run a single country wisely then maybe allow them to take on 29 countries..
      But we have a group of elite politicians with no track record now making a mess in Europe.
      You would not take a group of directors from a failing company and put them in charge of a multi-national company.

  15. Winston Zhang

    While the average EU citizen is facing austerity measures, the EU parliamentarians are enjoying big salaries. For what? These people have made a mess of the EU.

  16. Ray Upson

    CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY
    “BENEFITS OF EU MEMBERSHIP OUTWEIGH COSTS.”

    71% of CBI member businesses report that the UK’s membership of the EU has had an overall positive impact on their business, including 67% of SME members. Only 13% said there had been a negative impact. Overall,78% said they would vote to remain in the EU in a referendum, with 77% of SME’s taking the same position.
    A CBI literature review suggests that the net benefit of EU membership to the UK could be in the region of 4-5% of GDP or £62bn-£78bn a year – roughly the economies of the North East and Northern Ireland taken together.

    ACCESS TO A $16.6 TRILLION A YEAR SINGLE MARKET OF 500M PEOPLE IS THE KEY BENEFIT

    UK firms’ access to the Single Market goes beyond a standard free-trade agreement – the EU has eliminated tariff barriers and customs procedures within its borders, and has taken strides towards removing non-tariff barriers – such as different product regulations – by enforcing EU-wide competition law and coordinating product regulations.
    76% of CBI members say that the ability to freely buy and sell products in the EU has had a positive impact on their business, including 74% of SMEs.
    It has been estimated that UK trade with some countries in Europe could have increased by as much as 50% as a result of EU membership.
    The Single Market also underpins access to European supply chains. In 2009 $207bn of the UK’s total of $293bn of exports to the rest of the EU27 was used as inputs to industries, rather than being consumed directly; and the UK imported $161bn of intermediates from the EU27 in 2009. Imported intermediates are important even to domestically-focused sectors: the health & social care sector used $19bn of imported intermediates (principally of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals).

    THE EU HAS HELPED OPEN GLOBAL MARKETS TO UK FIRMS ON STRONG TERMS

    The EU is a springboard for trade with the rest of the world through its global clout: it accounted for 23% of the global economy in 2012 in dollar terms. Through 30 trade deals negotiated by the EU, including the Single Market itself, British firms have full access to a $24 trillion market. The recent deal with Canada and on-going discussions with Japan and the US could double this to $47 trillion – the UK would struggle to achieve the same quality of trade deals independently.
    58% of CBI members think that extra-EU trade agreements have had a positive impact on their business, including 55% of SMEs, compared to 3% who thought the impact was negative.

    MEMBERSHIP HAS INCREASED FLOWS OF INVESTMENT INTO THE UK

    Investment flows across borders inside the EU have roughly doubled following the introduction of the Single Market. As the EU’s leading investment destination, the UK was a key beneficiary: the EU accounted for 47% of the UK’s stock of inward FDI at the end of 2011, with investments worth over $1.2 trillion.
    Access to the EU Single Market has also helped attract investment into the UK from outside the EU.
    52% of CBI members say that the ability to invest in other EU states without restriction has had a positive impact on business.

    FREE MOVEMENT OF LABOUR HAS BROUGHT BENEFITS TO THE UK ECONOMY

    Free movement of labour helps UK business plug skills gaps. 63% of CBI members say that the ability to recruit and transfer staff from across the EU has been positive for business, including 48% of SMEs. Overall only 1% of members said the impact had been negative – and only 2% of SMEs said it had been negative.
    UK citizens have also benefited from free movement of labour – at least three-quarters of a million live in other EU countries.
    CBI recognises that there is public debate over immigration – consideration must be given to how free movement can practically operate in an EU of 28 in a way that commands public support.

    BUSINESS SEES THE UK’S LACK OF UNILATERAL CONTROL OVER SOME REGULATION AS A DOWNSIDE TO MEMBERSHIP

    There is recognition that common rules are needed to support the Single Market. 52% of CBI members think that common product standards across the EU are a positive, including 50% of SMEs. Overall, only 15% of members said that the impact of common standards had been negative.
    However, firms are concerned about labour market regulation. 49% of CBI members say that the pan-EU employment rights in areas such as working hours are a negative for business.

    THE UK’S NET BUDGETARY CONTRIBUTION IS A SMALL NET COST RELATIVE TO THE BENEFITS

    The UK’s net contribution to the EU budget is around €7.3bn, or 0.4% of GDP. As a comparison that’s around a quarter of what the UK spends on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and less than an eighth of the UK’s defence spend. The £116 per person net contribution is less than that from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ray Upson
      The CBI LOL!
      When does big business care for the individual?

      When is being taxed by the EU an excuse for lack of democracy?

      Why is the UK discriminated against re the £billion annual ‘FISH TAX;?

      Why are so few UK citizens discriminated against re EU civil service?

      Why has the UK been discriminated against 72 times out of since 1996 when it asked the EU mot to [pursue legislation?

      Why does the EU want to sign the TTIP deal despite it rolling back some of the good that the EU has begrudgingly actually done?

  17. Ray Upson

    WHAT HAS THE EU DONE FOR US…TUC REPORT CONCLUSION

    The overall contribution of EU employment rights to the UK workforce is substantial. The gains UK workers achieve as a result of our membership of the EU include:

    1) Improved access to paid annual holidays,
    2) Improved health and safety provision,
    3) Rights to unpaid parental leave,
    4) Rights to time off work for urgent family reasons,
    5) Equal treatment rights for part-time workers. Fixed-term and agency workers,
    6) Rights for outsourced workers,
    7) Information and consultation and significant health and safety protection.

    Given these benefits we conclude that EU membership continues to deliver wide-ranging protections to UK workers. Furthermore, evidence also suggests that in the years ahead, remaining in the European Union may provide significant opportunities to extend employment protections for working people.

    • Paul X

      All of this could have been achieved at a national level if we had elected a socialist government, but the UK didn’t ….so where does that leave national democracy?

    • EU reform- proactive

      Ray, yours was a good, valiant & defensive Pro EU effort & admirable.

      Most original referendums where decided by a promise & hope of a growing economy and its trickle down benefit to the workforce, reducing unemployment & spreading prosperity all round. What has happened?

      Ask around today; visit the EU statistics- if that ever has. Yes, a general advancement like everywhere & all over the globe- but a failure against all expectations. Instead- stagnation, dissatisfaction and anger all round- except from big business- as is similar evident in the US primary. The vibes of the “Trump revolt” can be felt in Europe as well. Trump being a successful and hardly corrupted & “compromised” businessman- (not like all others) independently financed, out to fix the US. Can one ever trust & believe that a “not compromised” JCJuncker & his team is out to fix Europe in favor for its citizens?

      Unemployment has rather increased- social benefits became tighter, state (citizen assets) picked up cheaply by the connected, privatized to make them “profitable” for corporates- assisted by all consumers. The global trend is a corporate takeover of our once sovereign governments and their subjugation, prescription and placing corporate conditions on us- to guarantee their profit! ABSURD!

      Make “Europe great” is a better slogan than enlarge the EU at all cost! The- by now full container ship load- of all the treaty paper, laws, regulations etc need to be recycled, burned, renegotiated & simplified!

      That is why our political sovereignty needs protection and strictly separated from the corporate globalists (TTIP)- like it happened with church & state long ago.

      All what needs to happen is a honest allowance by the present EU machinery to retest (referendums) if the original pro EU notion is still valid or not. We know that the EC & EU political elite opposes such option- referring to a (“rigged”) 5 yearly EU election process held between literally only EU supporters only & no real or “material” alternative options!

      The global struggle (see US- Trump visa establishment) has become a test between these 2 forces and a honest, fair & successful dispensation has yet to emerge!

  18. José Bessa da Silva

    No, it is not worth it. It destroyed wealth, industrial capacity, fishries and agriculture, it is based in non elected institutions, unlike what is said it did not give us peace it simply was made on a peaceful time, it does not respect cultural differences nor it knows what national sovereignty means, its parliament and comission are controled by lobbys which are ilegal in my country, it is an institution with no regards for the native people of its members and a cheap copy of the USA.

  19. George Singleton

    Brussels are the headquarters of the mob .If the Europeans knew how laws and directives are made in Brussels through 10000 lobbyingcompanies in order to promote their interests ..As it seems people of Europe acting as the african tribes of once time with the colonization.Brussels through the banksters is stealing the money of Europeans and their work.They try to transform Europe to a new China with cheap labour and without social care.They have started from south but will be worst for the North in few years.

  20. Dean Plassaras

    The EU is a disgusting fabrication designed to promote german export surpluses. Nothing more.

  21. Blanka Kasza

    There are already too many things on national level, that should be on European level. The latest refugee crisis shows exactly like that. Some of the initiatives are not working at all, or only partially working. Its still not advantageous enough for European people. Also still a gap in fundamentals, education, currency, jobs, and wages. More responsibility on European level for a stronger Europe.

    • Paul X

      Actually the current refugee crisis shows exactly how much of a failure the EU really is. Every country loves the EU as long as it of benefit to them, as soon as things start going wrong it’s everyone for themselves and back up with the border controls etc
      Maybe there are some things that would be better done on a European level, but they will only be better if the people doing it are experienced and competent. Unfortunately throughout its history the only thing the EU has been consistent in is its naive incompetence

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Blanka Kasza
      So you are not interested in good democracy then?

  22. David Mariet

    The € currency is like 28 people, pretexting modernism and economy, buying exactly the same shoes for 28 different pair of feet. Absurde ! Cf Stiglitz & others

  23. Andrew Lally

    A lot of other countries begrudge the grants given by the EU to Ireland, but omit to mention that EU fishermen – according to Eurostat – have taken approximately €200 billion worth of raw fish out of Irish waters, since Ireland’s accession in 1973 in fishing rights signed over by Ireland.

    On top of that all these begrudgers omit to mention the cost of eurozone membership when an incompetent ECB had no idea until 2008 that property price bubbles were building up in Portugal, Ireland and Spain, and Jean-Claude Trichet was at dinner parties instead of his desk. Unnecessarily paying unsecured bondholders and rescuing, at the insistence of the EU, banks that should have gone bust cost Ireland EUR64 billion.

    Then the begrudgers omit to mention that EU grants added a mere 10% to Ireland’s GNP – the real source of Ireland’s spectacular growth in wealth up to 2006 was Ireland’s connection with the USA, which invests more in Ireland than Brazil, Russia, India and China combined – in real terms, not proportionately.

    The only way Ireland benefited from EU membership was the diversification of sources of income, from total reliance on agriculture in 1973, to total reliance on American multinationals in Ireland in 2016.

    So feck ye, begrudgers, cos the EU has pillaged Ireland since 1973 and has taken way more than Ireland has received from the EU.

  24. catherine benning

    It has been and is a drain on European society. Traitorous to our social cohesion and cultures. Greece has been robbed blind and the rest are on the block with their necks exposed as they wait for the axe.

    Those with the reins over us should be taken out and made to face up to their betrayal of the European people who trusted in their deceitful rhetoric. Just look at those heading this thread, they look like children belonging to a remedial class with gurning faces of simpletons. What has become of statesmen you could believe in?

    They are political correctness in the flesh.

    • Yasmine

      if it wasn’t for the EU, Greece would have had to adopt much tougher austerity measures and salaries would have had to take an even deeper cut, according to its own government, which has never said this in the country itself but to foreign media only…now who is the traitor putting party politics above national interest/

  25. nando

    Is the EU worth the money?
    That is not the right question.
    The right questions are:
    Are the politicians worth trusting with so much money?
    … and…
    What are they doing with all that money?
    We need urgent answers to these questions!

  26. Nando Aidos

    Is the EU worth the money?
    That is not the right question.
    The right questions are:
    Are the politicians worth trusting with so much money?
    … and…
    What are they doing with all that money?
    We need urgent answers to these questions!

  27. Martins Campos

    Better behave as the british, and have the best of two worlds. A cold shoulder everyday, a pocketful of euros now and again.

    • Paul X

      Ok….you can keep your pocket full of Euros and we will keep our £55 million pounds a day we give to the the EU

  28. Emilio Chile Acosta

    el problema de Europa no es el Euro sino, el INEPTO y el NEPOTISMO que compra ANALFABETISMOS y por lo que sabemos SI TIENEN HAMBRE DE PODER hehehe pues, SON MUY AGRADECIDOS en convertirse en SERVIDORES DE PASADOS en COPAS NUEVAS hehehe

  29. Diogo Firmino

    Prefiro que o meu país seja independente e que a UE tenha menos peso na nossa política. Prefiro sair da UE e voltar ter emprego, e estabilidade no emprego, do que ver só precariedade, outsourcing, recibos verdes e instabilidade. A UE só veio trazer decadência e depravação.

  30. Andrej Němec

    The European Union is the Union of the Europeans just like the “National” States are a union of different people and cultures. Sicilians have zero in common with Venetians, still in 1861 the Italian State was born and is as artificial as the European Union. Let the people mix, learn about each other, cooperate and ultimately a European Nation will be born. The European Nation is not more artificial than the American one. And I challenge anyone to prove me wrong when I say that the American Nation is a successful one.

    • Josh

      A lot of the poor and disadvantaged people in America would not agree with you. Yes America is a rich and powerful country and there is a small % of the people who get very rich but democracy should be for everyone and not the few.

    • catherine benning

      @ Andrej Němec

      Quite the opposite of what you feel about the US is true. It is a failed State. The majority of its people live lives that are far worse than many third world countries. The majority of its factions do not mix in any way.They live in separate cultural ghettos constantly at war with each other with quite different expectation, aspirations and cultures.

      On the ground

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX_1xlBLwjQ

      And the politics

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XnihgXhh3c

  31. Kevin

    I would agree with Beatrix , if it is to continue the EU must return to a trade bloc and stop wasting our money on further political integration

    • Josh

      The main aim of the EU is not about trade, the EU is trying to build a superstate and its all about power.
      They are aiming to fade out nationality and remove national governments, remove all national identities and call everyone Europeans rather than Italians, Greeks etc.

  32. Stephanie Morgan

    EU is worth the money if they can keep the European taxpayers and citizens safe and secure first and their welfare and future are considered! These EU bureaucrats should consult the people first before making any major policy decisions that will affect the LIVES and WELFARE of the Europeans! of the If they can’t even keep it safe, secured and sovereign then EU is not worth a dime! Then EU should be disbanded for being useless and worst harmful to the Europeans!

  33. klassen

    Individual free countries within the eu are worth more. A federal eu isnt worth squat.
    The eu as it is , is a mixed up ,screwed up , money mongering out of control fiasco.
    Too many closed doors, back room deals (TTIP) lobbyists , monsantos etc, and millions of unhappy/unsatisfied and unheard/ignored people (REFERENDUMS) !
    Alde group and other europhile groups whom dominate the eu parliment have dictated reform , austerity , and thier beliefs onto europe for years and look at the result. Dire to say the least. A federal govt is being forced onto europe as a cure for all, but its the pill thats making us ill. Democracy is gone!
    The federal project is only worth something if the people stand behind it.
    They dont and never will, not this project.. So your answer is a resounding no, a failed project isnt worth the paper its written on.
    P.S. news has it germany is getting an in out referendum!!!

  34. Bana

    Dr Vasilopoulou,you seem to think that countries are incapable of negotiating trade deals unless we are all in the EU,you are mistaken,the days of tarriffs are over,countries outside the EU trade quite well without being a members (you may have noticed if you look around the world.)

  35. Ivan Burrows

    .

    As a trade area the EEC worked, as a political union it was always destined to fail, it was never worth the cost either financially or democratically.

  36. Vinko Rajic

    TESLA ! EU and all EU member states should invest in Tesla and build 20 factories in the EU , those should manufacture 10 000 000 cars/Year by 2020 . EU should invest 100 billion Euro and solve problem with fossil fuels once forever . Very cheap , simple and clean . EU should make it illegal to sell fuel cars after 2025 in the EU . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae5UQuhe5Ds

  37. Stefania Portici

    ma se i Paesi nazionali sono privati della moneta come possono pagare ? Con quale denaro ? Con quello che viene dalla svendita dei beni ai mercati internazionali ? perchè non li spende la BCE che è l’unica emissaria della moneta senza impoverire nessun Paese che ha l’euro ?

  38. Nando Aidos

    A lot could be done with this amount of money and it has nothing to do with these idiot politicians who pretend to be political leaders.

  39. Andrej Němec

    Of course it’s worth the effort. It worked for many years until a stupid delegation from Brussels went to Kiev to pee in Russia’s backyard. This opened a can worms. Time to change the establishment in Washington D.C. (Donald J. Trump wants to restore West – East relations), look Eastwards to a renewed NATO – Russia partnership, start building up a Federal Europe that can better represent all EU citizens.

  40. Vitor F Veiga

    It was worth in the 90’s.. Now its working against its citizens… Because mega corporations siege EU politics… Humanity is being lost…

  41. Rui Correia

    The EU, no… I mean: it’s worth something, a lot obviously, but not as much as that, and we could still have it working properly, and better, for much less money – but then again, my native country’s current government is worth much less than that, zero maybe!!!… that’s why I moved in the first place, because of that, and because of Schengen (to get out of it)… so… yes… and they’re still there, eating aprox +/- 15 years of paid taxes I left behind for them to feast on… so… oh well… does it matter? Can we do something about it really?? :-( – I would love to take back my paid taxes with me; that money should travel with me, and it should be injected in the European country of my choice, in that national system, on my behalf… that would be fair! :-(

  42. Satsuma Angel

    not for Turkey it is. It would mean to sink a lot of money into it but not get any respect in return

  43. Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    Eu is a classic example of a good idea that went terribly wrong. it used to be about values now all it left is lobbying, corruption and power games.. does it Worth all the pain all the anguish that our people experience? yep the system is rotten, it needs to be deleted and replaced from a new one

  44. Joao

    The EU does not worth the paper where the treaties are written on (and imposed to people!)

  45. Steffan Chrestensen

    No, you idiots need to get to terms with either having EU or own goverment. Cause freedom is going bye bye, and it is expensive. Expensive cars, hotels you name it. We paid for it. Countries can make trade agreement. Not underhanded TTIP kind but and open one wich all countries can join.

  46. Dean Plassaras

    Absolutely NOT. The EU is a disgusting barbaric german fabrication whose only purpose is to export deflation and misery to all others while maximizing unwanted german exports.

  47. Julian Stevens

    The principal concern of the EU’s leading countries is that if we vote out, others are likely to follow. All these threats to make life as difficult as possible for us if we do are likely only to harden the resolve of those already intent upon voting to leave. What kind of club is it that’s trying to persuade us to remain by saying: You’d better stay or else….? For how much longer should we continue paying billions of euros to keep Greece on life support? It’s an (economically) dead horse. Not so very long ago, there was speculation that Germany might be the first.

  48. Julian Stevens

    Imagine that Britain was not already a member of the EU and that the pending referendum was about whether or not we should now join. From our present position of self determination as to how we run our own country, membership of the EU, going forward, would mean:-

    1. Becoming part of a consortium of nations whose economies, with only one exception (Germany), are all in varying degrees of difficulty. That of Greece (which should never have been allowed to join in the first place) is indisputably an (economic) dead horse. Additional countries such as Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey are all keen to join as soon as possible. What do they have to offer?

    2. Surrendering control over our borders and, without challenge, having to allow entry to untold numbers of immigrants from other states instead of being able to reject those we consider undesirable.

    3. Surrendering control over our own laws (on many issues, we’d have to start deferring to Strasbourg) and being unable to vote out the politicians in Brussels making laws by which we’d have to abide.

    4. Having to abide by a set of rules for international trading devised by a committee of 27 other countries. Yes, we may have a few votes but only a small minority.

    5. Having to obtain the agreement of those 27 other countries to forge trade deals with key allies such as Australia, New Zealand, China and the USA.

    6. Having to pay hundreds of millions of pounds a week into a central fund, with those 27 other countries deciding how much (or how little) of our own money we’d get back to spend on things such as schools, the NHS and law enforcement.

    7. Submitting to massive amounts of red tape and rules of which we presently have to take no notice at all if they don’t suit us. We’re free to adopt those we want and to reject those that we don’t.

    8. Whilst certain trade barriers with other EU nations would be eased for big UK and multi-national businesses, the opposite would apply for smaller businesses.

    Given those considerations, which way would the vast majority of the British electorate vote?

  49. Julian Stevens

    Google: Brexit The Movie, watch it and see what you think.

  50. Stef Kostov

    If the US can spend 600 billion on their military, we can spend 150 on our union.

    • William Healey

      Exactly, and considering how much this continent has been devastated in the last… well further back than anyone can remember… then I’d rather we spent money on something that will break the cycle and bring peace to our beautiful part of the world.

    • Stephen Pockley

      NATO brings peace it’s just that except for the UK all other countries are leeching cretins and don’t pay their way.

    • Stef Kostov

      We’re talking about the EU not NATO…

    • Bernar Aganchyan

      Stephen Pockley Can we have article/research/data/evidence on which countries don’t pay their share in the EU?

    • Rosy Forlenza

      Stephen Pockley what about all of the strategic nato bases in other countries….can we get rid of the mediterranean ones then? the local populations don’t want them? i think if you think about it properly you will find all sorts of ways that nato is supported by all. If the U.S. doesn’t want to pay, just remember that you cannot tow britain to the u.s, so it is stuck with being in europe geographically, and the french have as much fire power as the britain does and the italians have a pretty good navy, army and airforce…as well as allowing the U.S and the UK ettc., (nato) access to its territory…so before you go spouting again..try and think it through

    • Andrea Morrone

      European citizens in the Mediterranean part of EU do not want NATO bases around the corner. They don’t want American army (which is the majority of NATO soldiers here) practicing outside their doors. We need EU bases, of an EU defence force, with EU values and citizenship. We don’t want to rely on others for our own safety. An alliance is not a dependence. Americans have to remain good allies, but an allie does not decide when or weather you should move to defend yourself.

  51. Mika Ainasoja

    Mistakes done, yes, but money is spread back to us! There is no negative results in principal.

    • David Alan Roden

      Only if you are one of the countries that do not contribute and only take net

    • Mika Ainasoja

      No, it is not. When the Union develops, the markets level up and all feel better. Study, work, sell, buy anywhere in EU. No passport, no restriction, same money!

    • Stephen Pockley

      Mika Ainasoja complete BS why should we pay for other countries that mean absolutely nothing to us ??

    • Mika Ainasoja

      You appear to be Britons. We live in Europe, you do not, it seems. Solidarity is the Union principle. Own naval is not the center of the world.

    • César Gonçalves

      I agree with Mika Ainasoja . I know the current EU project needs some reform but its Core intent is based on helping each other, solidarity. The EU funds exist to help those that need it and even the big contributors get EU funds. To me there are more benefits in a United Europe rather than every nation on its own

    • César Gonçalves

      And ALL EU countries contribute to EU’s budget.

    • Wouter Russchen

      Stephen Pockley then the eu cant function. without the EU there will be another european war

    • Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez

      If you mean “for a lot money less” around a 8-9% which is what the UK contributes, which on the other hand wont be spent on poor regions in the UK (Cornwall, western Wales, Northern England), social and research programmes (ESF, Horizon2020), CAP direct payments to British farmers and fishermen etc. I believe the impact will not be dramatic

    • Wouter Russchen

      Ivan Burrows you have unelected rulers as mayors, the house of lords, and oh yeah a queen who has the power stop any legislation.
      on the other hand. all EU leaders are elected democraticly because every EU pm/president is elected by its people and the EU parliament is elected by the people directly. please get your facts straight :)

    • Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez

      Ivan Burrows Well, Juncker was elected in his constituency and was the official candidate of his EU Party, I dont remember you Brits voting for Theresa May as the leader of the tories to become the Prime Minister in the last general elections.. ;). And sure, a market of 450million people and representing a 15% of the Worlds GDP would suffer in a trade war a lot more than a state representing a 2,5% of it (if Scotland or N. Ireland dont leave the Union of course). BTW, here in Brussels no one has talked about a trade war with the UK, I have only read that on Brexiter opinions or tabloids

    • Stephen Pockley

      Wouter Yes but we don’t elect the vast majority of them do we,so why should we care or even listen to the EU.Well to be fair we are not listening now and already starting trade negotiations with other countries as we speak ready to implement on day1 of independence.

    • Wouter Russchen

      Stephen Pockley you also don’t elect the vast majority of your own government… by that logic you should completely abolish all government in your own country

    • Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez

      Ivan Burrows The funny things is if part of the Commission is not directly elected (that part is selected by democratically elected governments) its the Member States fault, many countries like Spain, Romania, Denmark, Finland, Sweden or the Netherlands chose an MEP as its member of the Commission. BTW, you could choose between Juncker, Tsipras, Ska Keller, Verhofstadt or Schulz, since the EPP won the EU elections, Juncker was supported as the EC President by the leaders of the Member States. BTW, I remember Cameron rejecting that possibility which was a quite hipocrite move, demanding more democracy and representation and acting against it. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/27/david-cameron-loses-jean-claude-juncker-vote-eu

    • Ivan Burrows

      Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez .

      The Nation States can only work within the Lisbon treaty (the renamed rejected European constitution) which was signed by politicians long since kicked out of office & unelected Juncker has the final word which the European Parliament rubber stamps.. A system that in no way can be said to be democratic.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4592243.stm

    • Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez

      Ivan Burrows I am sorry, your reply doesnt answer what I commented, you seem to repeat the same “alternative facts” and avoid the debate. Juncker was elected in his constituency and Juncker hasnt the final word in the legislative process, that would actually be the leaders of members countries in the Counci (a EU of nations, yey!!)l, which is half a step ahead than the EP, by the way, the Lisbon treaty is responsible for giving the EU Parliament way more powers, making the codecision process the norm so you should support it, it gives elected legislators more competences.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez .

      Juncker does not have a ‘Constituency, he is a Civil servant.

    • Michael Šimková

      Ivan: When was the election for the House of Lords and the Queen, again? xD

    • Stefania Portici

      Ivan Burrows la guerra commerciale la fate voi, non all’europa adesso ma da sempre a tutti è nel vostro modo di fare. Ascoltate solo voi stessi e non ascoltate gli altri. E’ logico che vincete, vincete sempre avete la forza delle armi per imporre le vostre regole ma siete un popolo odiato dal mondo. Perchè non mettete l’uomo al di sopra del mercato ? Prima l’uomo, la vita, poi il mercato. Le tasse le avete inventate voi dunque sapete come funzionano e come si possono sottomettere i popoli se usate nel modo sbagliato. Siete un popolo molto intelligente, usate l’intelligenza per il bene di tutti . Quanto è bella la pace e l’amore?

    • Ivan Burrows

      Michael Šimková

      Our Queen & the House of Lords do ‘NOT’ make ours laws, your unelected European Politburo ‘DO’ make yours. Mayors are elected.

      The European Parliament cannot make law, only the unelected European Commission can do that in line with the rejected European Constitution (renamed the Lisbon treaty to bypass democracy.)

  52. Ivan Burrows

    Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez

    Your unelected rulers in Brussels think differently & are very worried about the loss of 10 billion per year from Great Britain, if they start a trade war with us that figure will sky rocket.

    But they can always increase the new taxes they are introducing for every EU citizen to make up the difference. You don’t mind paying do you.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/brexit-to-cost-european-union-billions-a-1111724.html

  53. david

    The EU budget is already controled by an indepedant organism but this organism should be able to reduce the lost money that MP waste with unexplained expenses as personal travels

  54. Stephen Pockley

    No it isnt sooner we stop paying for other countries infrastructure the better,let them sort themselves out. I’m so glad we are leaving.

    • Wouter Russchen

      EU money goes towards infrastructure which promotes international trade. what are you talking about?

    • Stephen Pockley

      Trade that we see very little of ,so absolutely no bloody benefit to us at all ,one thing we have got though is millions of low skilled immigrants ,such a bonus….NOT. I’m not complaining about the ones we need though.

    • Wouter Russchen

      Stephen Pockley immigrants are good for the economy, even the low skilled ones as most British don’t want to do the jobs they do.

      This trade is responsible for the vast financial sector your country has. it has 100.000 direct jobs alone, let alone the amount of indirect jobs.

    • Stephen Pockley

      Oh yes it’s been awesome….NOT,high skilled immigrants are but not low skilled because the studies on this don’t include all benefits paid out to immigrants and also financial burdens to our infrastructure.

  55. Wouter Russchen

    yes. it is. Because of Germany, all other euro countries have lower interest rates, which means that euro countries save billions every year on low government bonds

    • Stephen Pockley

      😂😂😂 most countries in the EU are broke .

    • Wouter Russchen

      Stephen Pockley no country in the EU is broke. not a single one is bankrupt

    • Franco Suarez

      Fake economics and banking are tools of oppression and exploitation not a benefit to the impoverished countries in a casino economy.

    • Wouter Russchen

      Ivan Burrows it’s a banking crisis in italy. it has nothing to do with the EU. just like the USA’s banking crisis gave us a global crisis.

    • Michael Šimková

      Ivan Burrows The biggest basket case in Europe right now is your country, Ivan. xD

    • Stefania Portici

      Wouter Russchen crisi bancaria in Italia che non ha niente a che fare con la UE ? E pensare che le banche italiane sono quelle che hanno meno problemi nella UE ma solo perchè erano SANE PRIMA dell’euro ! Noi le regole le abbiamo rispettate ecco perchè la sofferenza italiana è sotto i vostri occhi , è chi ha fatto il furbo e chi ha bleffato che …..lasciamo stare tanto prima o poi i nodi vengono al pettine

    • Stefania Portici

      e comunque la crisi dei subprime partita dagli USA che ha coinvolto poi i Paesi europei se l’Inghilterra avesse avuto l’euro sarebbe stata la prima a saltare a fare default perchè la riguardava più di tutti gli altri Paesi , ma aveva la sterlina

  56. Ivan Burrows

    Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez .

    The Nation States can only work within the Lisbon treaty (the renamed rejected European constitution) which was signed by politicians long since kicked out of office & unelected Juncker has the final word which the European Parliament rubber stamps.. A system that in no way can be said to be democratic.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4592243.stm

  57. Ivan Burrows

    Xouav Elías Bepgapa Míguez .

    Juncker does not have a ‘Constituency, he is a Civil servant.

  58. Franco Suarez

    Which tyranny is worth the money, the enslavement of the people and the sacrifice of human life for foreign benefit and dogma?

  59. Bobi Dochev

    This is the wrong question! The right one is: “IS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION WORTH THE MONEY WE SPENT ON IT”!!!

    Why we need all that overstuffing, useless administration and huge bureaucracy?!

  60. Michael Šimková

    European Union is worth spending money on, but I think a lot of the money currently spent on it is wasted on political nonsense like ferrying people back and forth between Strasbourg and Brussels – and first class too, because their royal majesties are simply too important for economy.

    There are some good things done by the EU though. I appreciate the energy efficiency standards, for example. It is helping Spain to transition to much more energy-efficient homes. Sometimes though they just do things that make you think, “are they bored? Do they have nothing to do all day?” I mean we know that European parliament has no real say in anything of major importance, and this is decided by the Politburo – er, I mean Commission. ;) So sometimes it looks like they just pass useless new standards and things even while the world is burning up around them because they are really bored out of their minds. xD

    I would like to see more things like the Large Hadron Collider and I wish we had an innovative company here like SpaceX or Tesla or an equivalent of Microsoft or Google or Baidu or Weibo. I mean I know we have Airbus and Arianespace, but these are from last century and really… they are just iterative. They don’t really do anything new and innovative and exciting or that might captivate your imagination. It feels like Europe is in some sense just muddling through this age and riding on the coattails of USA and China.

    On the other hand, standard of living in Europe is muuuuch better than USA and political freedom muuuuch better than China, so that is something to be grateful for also, and I am. I definitely wouldn’t just go in with a sledgehammer and start breaking things. :p But I think the European Union does need some very, very serious, far-ranging reforms.

  61. Stefania Portici

    no che la UE non vale la pena. Con tutto il terremoto che abbiamo , il gelo, i morti, gli immigrati…….non solo la UE in questi anni ci ha rubato i soldi ,lavoro, la vita , ma non ci ha aiutati in alcun modo e mentre stiamo seppellendo i nostri morti ci sta chiedendo ancora austerità in questi giorni di altri 3.4 miliardi . Non se ne può più , assassini !

    not that the EU is not worth it. With all the earthquake we have, the frost, the dead, immigrants ……. not only the EU in recent years has stolen the money, work, life, but it did not help us in any way and while we are burying our dead is asking even in these days of austerity other 3.4 billion. You do not talk about it, murderers!

  62. Stefania Portici

    no che la UE non vale la pena. Con tutto il terremoto che abbiamo , il gelo, i morti, gli immigrati…….non solo la UE in questi anni ci ha rubato i soldi ,lavoro, la vita , ma non ci ha aiutati in alcun modo e mentre stiamo seppellendo i nostri morti ci sta chiedendo ancora austerità in questi giorni di altri 3.4 miliardi . Non se ne può più , assassini !

    not that the EU is not worth it. With all the earthquake we have, the frost, the dead, immigrants ……. not only the EU in recent years has stolen the money, work, life, but it did not help us in any way and while we are burying our dead is asking even in these days of austerity other 3.4 billion. You do not talk about it, murderers!

    • Stefania Portici

      magari andavano nelle tasche dei politici ma non è cosi

  63. Dino Boy Mican

    The EU has become a yuge beaurocracy monster. It was an excellent idea when it was founded. But it evolved into a big whirl that swirls around swallowing money without affecting profoundly people ‘s lives. Brussels is a place for lobbyists and EMPs who indulge in good life and get hefty salaries. The people just pay taxes and cast votes. There is no sense of direction, no common goals for all countries, everything is debated for months on end with a lot of bargaining and stringent controls on the South have made the EU inattractive

    • Timothy Roes

      Define “yuge”. I see you live in Italy. The EU has some 50.000 employees of its own. Not bad for half a billion citizens. Italy has 350.000 at the central level alone (3 million if you count the local and regional levels, too).

    • Stefania Portici

      Timothy Roes sai,,,,cosa vi importa se i nostri dipendenti sono pochi o troppi ? Quando NOI stiamo pagando la UE e non il contrario, cosa cavolo vi importa di quanti dipendenti abbiamo

    • Dino Boy Mican

      All that true. Italy has a yuge state apparatus that inhibits economic life. Big state was a social necessity in pre- and post- industrial era times and proved to be a cohesive device in war-torn societies. It was central factor in nation building. All that is irrelative to Europe (there is no nation called European) in post- modern times, and even if there was ever a necessity for a supranational state, it has failed in creating a European conscience. Without it every country and every nation will seek own goals within the EU. Looks at the trouble southern economies. Sluggish growth -if any, crumbling living standards and state services and all that so the Euro doesn’t lose face as a global currency. It isnt fair. That’s a German goal. Germany and its orbiting allies profit in many ways from the southerners’ misery. They have gains thanks to other peoples’ losses.

    • Stefania Portici

      se riesci a capire l’italiano guarda un pò chi ci ha rovinato ! Parla di noi italiani ma riguarda tutti , sopratutto del SUD. L’ euro e l’Unione europea ci è stata imposta da fuori , non è che non la volevamo ma il progetto era sbagliato dall’inizio e lo sapevamo e ce lo hanno fatto ingoiare per forza , non ne possiamo più https://youtu.be/w2YqF-HLrcA

    • Stefania Portici

      Dino Boy Mican lei non è italiano, sembra un falso profilo e probabilmente neanche ci vive in Italia . Non può parlare di noi perchè non sa nulla di nulla di noi

  64. Stefania Portici

    Ivan Burrows la guerra commerciale la fate voi, non all’europa adesso ma da sempre a tutti è nel vostro modo di fare. Ascoltate solo voi stessi e non ascoltate gli altri. E’ logico che vincete, vincete sempre avete la forza delle armi per imporre le vostre regole ma siete un popolo odiato dal mondo. Perchè non mettete l’uomo al di sopra del mercato ? Prima l’uomo, la vita, poi il mercato. Le tasse le avete inventate voi dunque sapete come funzionano e come si possono sottomettere i popoli se usate nel modo sbagliato. Siete un popolo molto intelligente, usate l’intelligenza per il bene di tutti . Quanto è bella la pace e l’amore?

  65. Stefania Portici

    Wouter Russchen crisi bancaria in Italia che non ha niente a che fare con la UE ? E pensare che le banche italiane sono quelle che hanno meno problemi nella UE ma solo perchè erano SANE PRIMA dell’euro ! Noi le regole le abbiamo rispettate ecco perchè la sofferenza italiana è sotto i vostri occhi , è chi ha fatto il furbo e chi ha bleffato che …..lasciamo stare tanto prima o poi i nodi vengono al pettine

    Wouter Russchen banking crisis in Italy that has nothing to do with the EU? And to think that Italian banks are the ones that have less problems in the EU but only because they were SANE ONE euro! We complied with the rules we have here is because the Italian suffering is before your eyes, you who made the clever and who has bluffed ….. never mind that sooner or later the chickens come home to roost

  66. Stefania Portici

    e comunque la crisi dei subprime partita dagli USA che ha coinvolto poi i Paesi europei se l’Inghilterra avesse avuto l’euro sarebbe stata la prima a saltare perchè la riguardava più di tutti gli altri Paesi , ma aveva la sterlina

    and in any case the subprime crisis which began in the USA who then involved the European countries had England had the euro would be the first to jump because she was concerned more than any other country, but had the pound

  67. Ivan Burrows

    Michael Šimková

    Our Queen & the House of Lords do ‘NOT’ make ours laws, your unelected European Politburo ‘DO’ make yours. Mayors are elected.

    The European Parliament cannot make law, only the unelected European Commission can do that in line with the rejected European Constitution (renamed the Lisbon treaty to bypass democracy.)

  68. Stefania Portici

    Dino Boy Mican lei non è italiano, sembra un falso profilo e probabilmente neanche ci vive in Italia . Non può parlare di noi perchè non sa nulla di nulla di noi

  69. Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    I remember a time when I was a child back in Greece when it was difficult to buy a new car or a TV we even didn’t had some types of chocolate or brand name t shirts but life was better back then we had ALWAYS food on our table and we were warm at winder (thanks to government controlled energy prices) we could have a second handed bike or we could wait for a USSR made electric bus to take us to our jobs even if we wanted a taxi it was cheap. .we all had a job nothing great but a job that payed as much as it was needed to make a living. ..we were pro

  70. evangelizar

    A lo largo de la iglesia mucho a cambiado la manera de pensamiento de los seres humanos pero la Biblia dura para siempre. Doctrinas nacen y desaparecen pero Dios dura para todos los siglos . Cuantos exaltan a Dios?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-fvRj7fw4M

  71. John Bensusan

    The EU is not worth a bean. 3 million EU citizens living here, 1 million brits in the other 27? No wonder we can’t afford to educate our kids, keep us healthy Etc because we are subsidising other countries that don’t look after their own. What do we get? Threats, arrogance and they tell us what todo

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