Academic: ‘Clear evidence that cohesion policy has a significant impact’www.euractiv.comNovember 14, 2016
100 EUR per person / yearNovember 22, 2016
“A couple of weeks ago, I had occasion to “share our experience” before a panel of Italians in the European Parliament. The MEP assistant told me they were looking for practical advice, not a big speech. So I started with a few remarks and my personal opinion.
A few days after the BREXIT earthquake, I heard about a meeting of the European Commission in Brussels that aimed at defining the concrete benefits of EU membership. Due to the political mood, answers were scarce; someone claimed that one of the biggest achievements of the EU in 2016 was the abolition of roaming charges
. This pecuniary advantage was certainly beneficial for tourists. However, it is necessary to note that 50% of Europeans never travel abroad! Only a third travels yearly, mostly to reach sunny Mediterranean beaches in the summer. It means that only a third of European citizens can benefit from the biggest success of the EU. And this can’t make you win a referendum.
Understanding the advantages of being in the EU, such as the protection of cross border workers or access to the single market just to name a few, requires some skills. This is something that only a minority of us can perceive. For example, only 25% of Europeans speak proficiently a foreign language, which is often necessary to exchange with other countries and appreciate the benefits of the EU. Similarly, only around 35% has higher education.
I show all these statistics to say one thing: only one European in four is able to receive and understand any communication message coming from Brussels. This one is the one that travels, is educated, and speaks a foreign language. This could lead the EU to gather even less than 48% (Remain voters) - and winning a referendum appears more and more hypothetical.
Nothing new but we, living and working in Brussels, tend to forget these facts, sometimes even more than others.
Old-Continent - Visual Communication Agency