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OUR CRACOW, OUR COPENHAGEN Today twenty-five countries belong to the European Union. More than 450million Europeans have the right to live in, work in or travel to other EUcountries. Millions of people enjoy friendly contact with their neighbours acrossborders. Governments across Europe pass the same laws about employment,food, transport, health and the environment. The EU is also the largest freemarket in the world. A typical European supermarket is full of fresh fruit,vegetables, cheese and meat which come from all over Europe. Twelvecountries even use the same currency, the euro. In fact, the European Union hasa very big influence over our lives, but most of us dont even notice it. But if welook at Europe just three generations ago, we start to understand that the storyof the EU is even more surprising. In 1945, Europe had just experienced themost terrible war in history. Many historians believe that at least forty millionpeople were killed, although such numbers are very hard to calculate. At theend of the war millions were homeless and much of Europe was in ruins. In fact,famine was a bigger problem in 1947 than it was during the war years. Worst ofall, many countries still didnt trust each other. It is perhaps a surprise to learnthat the first politician to suggest a United Europe after the war was WinstonChurchill, the British Prime Minister during the war years. In September 1946,during a meeting in Switzerland, he said that Europeans should come togetherto create a United States of Europe. However, most people, especially in Britain, thought that Churchills ideaswere shocking or even absurd. Eight months later a huge conference wasorganised in the Netherlands. Eight hundred important European academics andpoliticians were invited. Despite the fine words and emotional speeches, the Netherlandsconference couldnt save Europe — it was already divided in two. But the idea ofa United Europe didnt die completely. A French politician, Robert Schumanbelieved that the only way that France and Germany could become goodneighbours again was by cooperating economically. In 1951, six countriesagreed to regulate trade, prices and production of coal and steel. Theexperiment was a success, and in 1957 the six countries signed the Treaty ofRome and created the European Economic Community (in 1993, the EEC changedits name to the European Union). Nine more countries joined the organisationbetween 1973 and 1992 and another ten countries became members in 2004.Perhaps De Madariagas dream will come true one day after all.
Scan the text “Our Cracow, Our Copenhagen”. Then answer the questions How many countries have the same currency? - Who suggested a “United States of Europe”? - When was the Treaty of Rome signed?
Put the events in the correct order. Thenread the text again and check your answers. A major conference is organised. □ Churchill suggests “ a United States of Europe. □ Schuman tries to keep the idea of cooperation alive. □ The EEC becomes the EU. □ The EEC is created. □
Read the text again. Tick true and cross false. Then correct the wrong sentences. Not all EU countries have introduced the euro. Hunger was a big problem in Europe, even two years after the end of the war. Some countries didnt have a good relationship with each other after the war. Churchills ideas about a United Europe were very popular. The Netherlands conference was a success. De Madariagas vision has become reality.
Listen and decide which speakers have negative opinions about the EU. Then listen again and match speakers 1-5 with opinions a-e. Speaker 1 □ a The EU sometimes seems to waste money. Speaker 2 □ b It makes Europe more Speaker 3 □ democratic and peaceful. c Too many decisions are Speaker 4 □ made for us without Speaker 5 □ consultation. d It makes it easier for young people to travel and study abroad. e it makes Europe more competitive economically