Fahnen der EU-Mitgliedsländer wehen am Eingang zum Europaparlament in Strassburg


M 01.02 The EU in my everyday life

A new day begins and you have not even started working on your presentation on “The EU’s influence on the European citizens” which is due the day after tomorrow. Well, first things first: you have a breakfast.

As usual, your father sits at the table and drinks his Italian coffee; due to the EU single market, products from all over Europe are available in each member state. Today, your father can take his time during breakfast since he does not have to go to work: He is on leave. The EU guarantees a minimum of 4 weeks per year for every employee.

Lost in thought, you have a look at the cereal box while you are eating your muesli. You read all the information on the box. No nuts, great, since you are allergic to them. Good thing that the EU determines that a product’s ingredients and nutritional values have to be declared. That way, you – and all the other people suffering from allergies – can be sure not to eat products with allergenic substances.

Suddenly your phone rings. Your brother is calling. He is currently studying in Spain taking part in the ERASMUS program for a year. Calling from there is not that expensive any more, since the EU abolished roaming costs in 2017.
Your brother enjoys Spain very much, however, he was injured in a skateboard accident last week. Fortunately, he could call the pan-European emergency number 112 and had his European Health Insurance Card with him.
Since your father is on leave, he plans on booking a flight to Spain to visit your brother. Due to the Schengen Agreement he will not be waiting for hours in border controls, but he will be able to travel freely across the EU. In case there is a problem with his flight (delay, overbooking, etc.) he has EU passenger rights, insuring his journey. However, you miss whether your fathers booking is successful or not because you have to go to school now.

After school, you meet your friends to see a movie. When going to the cinema by bike, you pass a wind park and a university. Sustainable sources of energy and research projects are supported by the EU. The movie you see is a Belgian one which is rumoured to be an insider’s tip. In the end credits you learn that the movie was supported by the “Creative Europe” programme which enables screenings abroad.

Back home in the evening, you turn on your computer to finally work on your presentation. But you want to surf the internet and check out the new computer game for a start. On a web page you are asked to enter personal data. According to the new EU data protection regulation, the website has to inform you about how your data will be used. Additionally, you have the “right to be forgotten” in case you want to have these data deleted.

Oh, this late already? The presentation still waits for you to work on it, but you still do not have any idea what you could say about the EU and its influence on European citizens’ everyday lives. Or have you?

1. Think (Individual work)
  • a. Read the text carefully and underline all passages about EU rights or EU directives.
  • b. Create a table (1st column: fields of activity; 2nd column: examples from the text) and note down particular examples.
  • c. Look at the examples and find superordinate fields of activity of the EU. Note down the corresponding topics in another column of the table.
2. Pair (Work in pairs):
  • a. Compare your results with your partner.
  • b. Think of further fields of activity which are codetermined by the EU. Add them to your list and keep the aspects of the decision game in mind.
3. Share (Presentation):
  • a. Present your results and discuss them together in class.

Here are some headwords referring to possible fields of activity. Attention: Upper and lower cases as well as the combination of letters got confused:
hlateh – egreyn – cermsoun certtipoon – lensgi temkra – naficen – nertpociot of the virmeetnnon – telrucu – oundicate - roalbu

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