A study published by the European Commission suggest that more than a quarter of those who take part in its long-running Erasmus scheme meet their long-term partner while studying abroad – and that more than one million babies may have been produced as a result!
As warm and unusual as this fact is, it isn't the only thing the EU has done for people. To help you identify what the EU has done in your local area, I have created some local fact sheets to help give a flavour of what the EU has done for you in your local community.
But what has the EU done for me?
Sometimes we can get carried away with what nation states give to the EU and we forget some of the wonderful things we get back in return.
Much like joining your local golf club, sports and social, parenting club or scout group - we pay in our yearly fees because we want to be part of something bigger. We know that those subs will go towards some stuff that will directly benefit us (e.g. subsidised sports kit or monthly newsletters for example) and the rest of our money will go towards things that indirectly benefit us (e.g. new decor in the cafe, or play equipment for the children). But overall, we are happy to pay in because we want to be part of the club and we appreciate the mutual benefits we get from the club when we all put in.
The EU is much like this too. Sure - we pay in some money and we send representatives to debate issues on our behalf to the European Parliament, but we also get lots back. Some residents ask me why we can't leave the EU but still set up trade links, or educational partnerships between schools or travel agreements so we can still go on cheap holidays. Unfortunately, however, it doesn't quite work like this, just as it wouldn't work like this with your local sports club. Can you imagine being a member of your local golf club and saying to the other members and the committee, 'I am going to stop paying my subs because it is too expensive and I can't see the direct benefits I am getting from being a member. However, would you mind if I come along to play the occassional game of golf? Also, can we set up an agreement whereby I pay less or no money towards the club but use your facilities when I need to?' Of course not, we wouldn't dare try to do that, because we know that the rules are clear and it is unfair.
I'm sure we can all see the sense in this example, but what are the benefits for you and I in the West Midlands?
What has the EU done for me in Herefordshire?
What has the EU done for me in Worcestershire?
The Erasmus Impact Study,A study published by the European Commission this week suggests that more than a quarter of those who take part in its long-running Erasmus scheme meet their long-term partner while studying abroad – and that more than one million babies may have been produced as a result.