EU for Dummies?
Brexit, an historic vote held in Great Britain on June 23rd as to whether the United Kingdom should stay or leave the European Union, and finally establishing the exit of the country from the EU, created a domino effect on several basis, including some few milestones, up to now given for granted. Following the panic the results brought out, the one keywords everybody was talking about was about the essence of Europe itself.
What is the EU?
The EU is a politic-economic collection of 27 European member states, after UK quit, with an estimated population of 508 million, that agreed to form a Union post-World War II. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries could trade with one another to become economically interdependent, and so more likely to avoid conflict.
The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organization spanning from policy areas, climate, environment and health, to external relations and security, as well as justice and migration. A change from the European Economic Community (EEC) to the European Union (EU) in 1993 reflected this changes.
Thanks to the abolition of border controls between EU countries, people can travel freely throughout most of the continent, and where within Schengen area, passport controls have been abolished. And thus it has become much easier to live, work and travel throughout Europe.
The function of the Union is largely both economic and political, developing an internal single market through a standardized system of laws applied in all member states. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, transportation, the environment, agriculture, fisheries, regional development, as well as on other facets.
A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002, being composed by 19 EU member states which have adopted the Euro as common currency (Britain was an exception, in keeping the British Pound). One of the EU's main goals is to promote human rights both internally and around the world. Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, and respect for human rights: these are the core values of the EU. Since the Lisbon Treaty’s entry in force in 2009, the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights brings all these rights together in a single document.
The enlarged EU remains focused on making its governing institutions more transparent and democratic. More powers have been given to the directly elected European Parliament, while national parliaments play a greater role, working alongside the European institutions.
Brits remorse or simple doubt?
What happened immediately after voting was over? Just some hours later, Google reported, on the top questions asked by UK users since the Brexit results were released, there was “what is EU”, and queries about “what happens if we leave UK?” almost tripled. Other spiking searches in the UK were queries for ”getting an Irish passport” and, even more, “move to Gibraltar”, the British territory on the south coast of Spain.
They frantically kept typing those simple words. Call it Brexit remorse, but it seems, online at least, that many were showing they weren’t quite sure what they were voting for. And, as results went clear, so many people signed a petition for a referendum re-run, literally crushing the website.
Meanwhile, #Brexit was the latest hashtag trending on Twitter, which was literally flooded with nearly some 6.4 million tweets about the EU Referendum (#EUref). They began at 7 am when the polls opened on Thursday, and went on till 10 am on Friday as the nation reacted to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation speech. When he resigned, Twitter usage was double its normal levels. It was also the peak in conversation during the entire #EUref campaign. Twitter’s blog also revealed that at 8am on Friday morning “The UK” was trending, while #EUref topics have dominated trends on the platform for the whole of Friday.
Big breakup seems not to have affected British economy, having London Stock Exchange already minimized initial loss, says think tank.
As we live in a world dominated by socials, this episode was once again an example of how the Internet has become an essential tool in the dissemination of data, in the search for immediate answers, outclassing de facto, newspapers and TV. More and more connected to the network.
Article Authored by Sonia Russo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source : Investopedia, Wikipedia, The Guardian – 25/6.Fine modulo