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The European Referendum 2016 Active Citizens
Origins of the European Union In the first half of the 20 th century, two wars were started on the continent of Europe. Both the First and Second World Wars spread to involve countries from all over the world. These wars cost many lives and left countries across Europe in a lot of debt. This cemetery in France contains the remains of at least 130, 000 soldiers who died at the Battle of Verdun in World War One.
Origins of the European Union After World War Two, many countries wanted to avoid another war. This desire to avoid more death and prevent more suffering led to people across Europe deciding to work together rather than against each other. Two extremely important resources for warfare in the 20 th century were coal and steel. • Coal for energy, for factories and transport • Steel for weapons
Origins of the European Union In 1951, to prevent warfare by creating a common market to share resources, 6 countries joined together in 1951 in the European Coal and Steel Community. Belgium Netherlands France Germany Italy Luxembourg
Origins of the European Union Over the following decades, more and more countries joined this original community from across Europe. The community’s purpose expanded from creating a market for coal and steel to the far bigger and more complex structure which today we call the European Union. Watch the EU’s growth over the last 60 years!
Origins of the European Union 1957 In 1957, the European Coal and Steel Community expanded its purpose to create a common market for all goods, workers and services within the borders of the member states. This was called the European Economic Community (EEC).
Origins of the European Union In 1973, the EEC expanded its membership to allow the UK, Denmark and Ireland to join. 1973 Ireland United Kingdom Denmark
Origins of the European Union In 1975, a referendum was held in the UK to let the people of the UK decide whether to remain What’s a referendum? A referendum is a vote in which in the EEC. everyone of voting age can take The electorate voted 67% in favour of staying in part, usually to give a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to a political the EEC, with 65% voter turnout. question. This was the first ever referendum to be held across the whole of the United Kingdom. What is voter turnout? 1975 In and Out campaign leaflets Voter turnout means the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election.
Origins of the European Union Over the years, more and more countries joined the European Economic Community. In 1993, the EEC changed its name to the European Union. The EU’s purpose expanded in 1993 from overseeing economic activity to dealing with many other issues, such as transport, the environment and migration. Countries have continued to join the EU since then.
1950 s Belgium France 1970 s Ireland 1980 s Greece 1990 s Austria 2000 s Bulgaria Romania Croatia Netherlands Germany Luxembourg Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland Slovakia Slovenia Italy United Denmark Kingdom Spain Portugal Finland
Origins of the European Union – 5 quick questions 1. Why did European countries create a Steel and Coal Community in 1951? 2. What is a referendum? 3. How did the UK vote in the 1975 EU Referendum? 4. When did the UK join the EEC? 5. How many countries are there now in the EU?
The Founding Values of the EU When a country wants to become a member state, it has to demonstrate it respects certain values in order to join. Respect for What do you think these values might be? Are they similar to British values? Or Catholic values? human rights Respect for human dignity Liberty The rule of law Democracy
Four founding principles of the EU The EU (or the European Economic Community as it was then called) was founded in 1957 on four principles. These principles create a free market between the member states, in order to promote trade and peace in Europe. They are: Free movement of goods Freedom to provide services Free movement of capital Free movement for workers
What do the four freedoms mean? What do these freedoms mean in practise? Freedom to Free movement of capital for workers provide services of goods People can buy and sell goods across Europe without having to pay extra tax if the goods change country. E. g. if you buy a BMW, you don’t have to pay anything extra, even if it is shipped to your car dealer from Germany. You and anyone with a passport from an EU member state can work anywhere in the EU. It also means you don’t need a visa to go on holiday in Europe, so you can skip the long queue in the airport. If you are a professional, e. g. a doctor, vet, engineer etc. , you can provide your service in any EU member state. This means businesses can invest in and own other European companies. It also means you can open a bank account and buy a house in any EU member state.
How are EU laws made? The EU promotes trade, it protects and promotes human rights, it helps build roads, it campaigns for climate action… the list of things the EU does goes on and on. How are these decisions and laws made? There are three important organisations which make up ‘the EU’. They each have different jobs and represent different interests within the EU. They are called the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (not to be muddled up with the European Council or the Council of Europe!).
How are EU laws made? The European Commission suggests new laws and enforces existing European laws and treaties. It is made up of commissioners from all 28 member states. An area the Commission proposed a new law to the Parliament was on making it cheaper to use your phone data abroad within the EU. Watch this video to find out more. The European Commission building, Brussels
How are EU laws made? The European Parliament is made up of elected representatives who represent the interests of everyone in Europe. 751 are elected from the 28 member states in an election once every five years. The European Parliament, together the Council of the EU, passes laws out before it by the Commission. It also decides the budget and scrutinises the work of the other EU organisations. The European Parliament building, Strasbourg
How are EU laws made? The Council of the European Union is the voice of EU member governments and decides on EU laws, along with the Parliament. It is made up of government ministers for each EU country, with different ministers representing their country on different issues. For example, when finance and banking is discussed, George Osborne is the UK government’s representative at the Council of Europe. The European Parliament building, Strasbourg
How are EU laws made? The Commission Proposes laws to… The Parliament The Council Who vote for the laws or send them back for revision
5 quick questions… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What are some of the values of the EU? What are the four founding principles of the EU? What does free movement of goods mean? What is the job of the European Commission? What steps have to be taken to pass a law in the EU?
What is a referendum? A referendum is a general vote held to decide a single political question. Previous referendums have included questions on the electoral voting system (2011, First Past The Post v. Alternative Voting System), Scottish independence (2014), and the national flag of New Zealand (2015). The last time there was a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU was in 1975. On 23 rd June 2016, all British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over the age of 18 living in the UK can vote in the EU referendum. People living abroad who have registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years can also vote.
Should we stay in or leave the EU? 1. Before the debate begins, hold a class referendum on the question: Should the UK remain in the EU? 2. Now watch these two videos for and against staying in the EU. 3. Split into groups and think about reasons to stay in and leave the EU. You can watch the campaign videos for and against staying in the EU here. Think about whether the campaigns make balanced and convincing arguments.
What makes a good speech? In your groups, discuss what you think made these speeches persuasive, or not. ØIs it the content? ØThe structure? ØThe style of delivery? Now you’ve come up with some ideas, elect someone from each group to make a two minute speech for or against the UK staying in the EU. Other people can make posters for either side, and campaign videos. Who convinced you? Hold another class vote and compare it with the one taken at the beginning.
Should 16 and 17 year olds be able to vote in the referendum? In the referendum in 2014 on Scottish independence, 16 and 17 year olds were given a vote. However, only people older than 18 can vote in the EU referendum in June. Why might it be a good idea to give 16 and 17 year olds a vote? Would they vote mainly for one side, or would their votes be evenly split for either side? Find out more about the issue here: http: //www. electoralreform. org. uk/votes-at-16
Being Media Literate If we want to be active citizens, we need to keep up to date with the events going on in the world around us. How do you get this information for yourself?
Vote to stay Undecided Vote to leave
How you can get involved: Youth Parliament The European Youth Parliament UK (EYPUK) is an educational charity run to teach young people across Europe about UK and EU political issues. The EYPUK runs local, regional and national sessions, where a wide range of issues are discussed, debated and voted on. Anyone aged 11 -18 can attend these sessions, and schools can also bring a delegation. At the National Session, over 140 delegates from across the UK meet to debate important issues and to select the UK delegates to the International Session. For more information: http: //eypuk. co. uk/what-we-do/
How you can get involved: Campaign During a referendum campaign, you can help the side you want to support by: • Joining a campaign group. • Follow this link for the Remain campaign, and this link for the Leave campaign. • Canvassing. • Campaigning with them This can be a great way to get involved in your community and to find out more about the values of both sides of the debate.