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


Info M 01.01 Decision Game

Instruction: The decision game can be played a) online on the bpb webpages or b) as a ballot in class. When going for version b) the teacher reads out (alleged) EU regulations to the students. Each student is required to decide whether the heard EU regulations exist or not. The teacher then provides the solutions. Students can note down the correct answers and main points concerning the explanation on worksheet M 01.01.

(alleged) EU regulations:
1. Avoiding a bad atmosphere.
Students cycling to school should not fall ill on the way. This is why the EU takes care of air quality in cities.
The directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe requires a reduction of pollution. There should be as little negative impact on people or the environment as possible. [1]
2. Enabling everyone to see daylight.
Lehrpläne in Schulen müssen eine europäische Qualitätssicherung durchlaufen, damit alle Europäer eine vergleichbare Schulausbildung bekommen.
The educational systems across Europe are actually very different. A standardisation of academic education, however, was implemented by the so-called Bologna Process. [2]
3. The same for everyone.
Job starters, too, should be able to make a living. This is why the EU determined minimum wages employers have to pay.
Within the EU, minimum wages are national responsibilities. However, the political discussion about EU wide minimum wages lasts for 20 years. [3]
4. Knowing what they are made of.
Buying healthy food should not be a challenge. That is the reason why misleading or comparative advertising is forbidden across the EU. If it says on a yogurt pot „low-fat“, there has to be yogurt in that pot which is actually low fat.
The EU directive concerning misleading and comparative advertising determines that food manufacturers may only use labels that concur with the ingredients. Advertising shall not mislead consumers. [4]
5. Age-appropriate gambling.
Teenagers and their parents should know if a computer game is appropriate for a certain age or not. Thus, there are age ratings on games across the EU.
Every member state may choose its own age rating system. Many member states use the PEGI system, however, to ensure a certain transparency. [5]
6.Hands off!
Alcohol cannot be sold to people underage. People under 18 years of age are required to keep their hands off the booze.
In this regard, national regulations apply. While alcohol can only be consumed at the age of 18 in Bulgaria, it can be consumed in Austria at the age of 16 (with certain restrictions). [6]
7. Standardised run areas.
The principle of Fairness also applies to chicken across the EU: For reasons of animal welfare, they have to have a minimum of four square meters per hen when kept in free range husbandry.
There are national regulations concerning animal protection in Europe. However, there are clear rules in the EU concerning animal husbandry, animal transport or slaughter of arm animals. [7]
8. Going through customs?
No matter if you order shoes from Milano or a bike from Poland – you do not have to pay customs duties (= fee that needs to be paid if goods are taken across frontiers) across the EU.
Due to the customs union, the EU constitutes a single trading room. Custom duties may only incur for non-European goods. [8]
9. Marriage equality – everywhere.
Marriages of same-sex couples and marriages of opposite-sex couples are recognised as equal everywhere across the EU.
Not every member state of the EU allows same-sex marriages. However, the European Court of Justice has decided that spouses, no matter which sex, may live together everywhere. [9]
10. Get over there.
European citizens can travel freely across the EU. If you want to cross an internal frontier within the EU, you can do so without having your passport checked in most instances.
The majority of EU member states as well as some non-European states joined the Schengen Agreement. Citizens of these countries may cross mutual internal frontiers without passport inspection. [10]
11. Please don’t go overboard!
The EU monitors the member states’ national debts. In case the national debt is in excess of the limit, the EU can impose sanctions against that member state.
The Stability and Growth Pact determines that the level of debt may not exceed 60%, measured in terms of the Gross Domestic Product of the individual member state. [11]
12. A common EU army.
The European Military is subdivided according to national forces. However, they are all part of the European defensive alliance and are therefore subject to the EU.
The claims to build a common European army date back to the 1950s, but the idea has not been realised yet. However, there is a current debate about this topic in Europe. [12]
13. Child care supply.
The EU determines that all children are legally entitled to be cared for in nurseries. This entitlement applies when the child turns one.
There are national regulations concerning child care. In 2016, about half of the children under 3 years of age in the EU were looked after by their parents, without receiving institutional care (day care centre, etc.) Thus, the Barcelona target of giving institutional care to 33 % of the under 3 year olds had not been achieved in 2010. [13]
14. Your Decision.
According to an EU directive, teenagers over 14 are allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to practise a religion or not.
The guidelines of the EU lay down that everybody has the right to freedom of religion and belief. Among other things, this right entails the freedom to change religions. However, specific statutory provisions are each member state’s individual responsibility. [14]
15. Safe summer fun.
An EU directive determines that the quality of public bathing water needs to be checked.
In case there are hazardous substances in the water, the public needs to be informed about it as soon as possible. [15]
16. Don’t produce waste!
The EU seeks to reduce the amount of plastic waste, its citizens produce. This is why some single-use products, such as plastic straws, disposable tableware or other disposable plastic products, will be banned from 2021 onwards.
The European Parliament has already agreed to the draft directive concerning single-use plastic products. Straws made of plastic, single-use dish or non-returnable crockery will be forbidden, for instance. [16]

Link collection:
  1. Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32008L0050
  2. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research about the Bologna Process: https://www.bmbf.de/en/the-bologna-process-1421.html
  3. Information on minimum wages in Europe: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Minimum_wage_statistics#General_overview
  4. Directive 2006/114/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on misleading and comparative advertising: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM%3Al32010
  5. Age rating system PEGI: https://pegi.info/page/pegi-organisation
  6. Information on protection of minors in EU member states: http://www.protection-of-minors.eu/en/
  7. Commission Regulation (EC) Nr.589/2008 of 23 June 2008 laying down detailed rules for implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards marketing standards for eggs: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32008R0589; EFSA about animal protection within the EU: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/animal-welfare
  8. The EU about Customs Union: https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/customs_en
  9. Press release 80/2018 of CJEU on term “spouse”: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2018-06/cp180080en.pdf
  10. Information on Schengen Agreement: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-agreement/
  11. Information on Stability and Growth Pact: https://www.civitas.org.uk/content/files/EC.10.SGP_.pdf
  12. Article about Plans for an EU army: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-army-angela-merkel-macron-germany-france-military-european-commission-juncker-a8633196.html
  13. Press release 94/2016 of 13 May 2016 on: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/7301646/3-13052016-BP-EN.pdf/ee1450f7-ff36-4068-ba06-96616eb4944f
  14. Article 10 of Charta of Fundamental Rights: http://fra.europa.eu/en/charterpedia/article/10-freedom-thought-conscience-and-religion
  15. Directive 2006/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 concerning the management of bathing water quality: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1543233791253&uri=CELEX%3A32006L0007
  16. Press release on planned plastic ban: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/de/press/press-releases/2018/10/31/eu-acts-to-restrict-plastic-pollution-council-agrees-its-stance/