Archive for December, 2015

Europe and Where I Stand

IMG_7479If you havnt already guessed I’m pro Europe, just getting to that quickly so it is clear from the onset. After a recent trip to Brussels, I was reminded how important the EU is to us and we to it.  The UK is one of the biggest members of the “project”.  It is with deep regret that I note, there seems to be a stronger surge of support towards the leaving camp, I myself find such an ideal disastrous for our country and for all in my generation as a young person, and as a proud young European.

Our Country is evolving and is somewhat tearing itself apart, devolution is helping ambitious projects best suited for each part of the UK, in an attempt to quell independence. However there is a hugely important referendum due very soon, and if Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to stay in the EU while England (the majority) votes out, there will be a constitutional crises. There is the strong likelihood that the UK could and would break up, leaving the UK smaller and less influential in the world. The EU in my opinion in one way helps us stay together, being part of something much bigger, something we share as Europeans – culture, history, trade and ambition. It also allows us to be part of a wide network of peoples and trade, which can roam freely without visas or fear of limits.

The EU project has witnessed the longest ever peace amongst European nations ever, seeing the economies of member nations become so attached and webbed together, war becomes distant and something saved for the history books, as Europeans become reliant on one another.  The world we live in, involving multinational companies need bigger cooperation of governments, ensuring no one company is able to be bigger than any one nation. Multinationals are kept in check as to speak and rules across the EU protect all within. (Privacy and what America knows is part of this)

One would be a fool not to notice a EU funding sign, they are plentiful in number, the EU funds a vast amount of projects across Wales but also across the UK as a whole, to support the people on the ground on a day to day basis.  Here are just some beneficial ones for young people.

Erasmus – The ability to undertake sponsored study anywhere across the EU

The ability to work without visas

Job Growth Wales – thousands of young people now in employment

Communities first – addressing the most deprived areas of Wales and looking at supporting those within the highlighted areas to gain qualifications or find lasting employment.

Qualifications – academic or other (driving and the like) as agreed to a set standard meaning it is easy to use qualifications in one member country to another.

Employment rights – most of our employment rights come from Europe and are protected at the European level with companies/ governments’ being fined for breaking any rules.

Culture – Youth in Action and other projects promoting wider inclusion.

Justice – the ability to issue Eurowide arrest warrants, usage of Interpol and European courts, a big link to Northern Ireland on this matter.

Huge, no actually vast amounts of money are invested by the EU to the UK each year, but more so in particular within Wales and Cornwall. Infrastructure like roads and other transport links, jobs and culture are all improved from the EU’s hard cash. Could you really see the same investment come from the UK government as readily?  While yes it could be said that we pay a lot  to be part of the EU, but in the long run do we not benefit? Open markets meaning more consumers thus more jobs, this can only be a good thing right?  Regulation on an international level and working together can only help tackle huge issues like, migrants, climate change, financial crisis or disasters of a large scale and others.

You would be hugely surprised if you physically looked at what the EU does for you and why it should be allowed to continue to do so. Thus as noted, I am and will always be a strong advocate of Europe and staying on the table tackling issues, being part of the project is better than being at the window and looking in, the one with no voice but affected by every decision made.

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