debates

Learn Europe / Debates
  • Search for:

The Euro

Economy

Based on the explanation of the possible consequences of a member state leaving the euro, discuss the advantages and inconveniences of such a measure.

Models of the welfare state in Europe

Economy

According to the article The welfare state resists in the north and becomes weaker in the south (es), the crisis is the result of a gap between the models of welfare state in the north and south of Europe.

What implications could this phenomenon have for the process of European integration?

Trade Policy

Economy

Considering the fact that one of the transversal axes guiding the trade policy of the EU is respect for human rights (including workers’ rights) in the countries of origin of its imported products and that respect for these rights is one of the conditions for forming part of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP):

Brussels will maintain the trading advantages given to Bangladesh in order to improve conditions in its textile sector (es)

Do you think that the EU should have reviewed the situation of Bangladesh after the recent incidents in some of its textile factories?

Many of these textile factories work for European companies. What responsibility do they have for this type of accident?

Is it possible to consider that companies established in countries that do not respect the rights of their workers are taking part in free competition?

Energy Policy

Economy

Based on the text Energy security and climatic change: a new industrial revolution (es, en)

Could energy be a destabilising factor in Europe?

Should energy security be a priority for the EU?

The EU budget

Economy

For the budget period 2014-2020, the EU has proposed reaching the objectives established by the Europe 2020 Strategy; these objectives are:

  • 75 % of the population between 20 and 64 years old should be employed
  • 3 % of the GDP of the EU should be invested in R+D
  • The «20/20/20» objective should be achieved with relation to climate and energy (including an increase to 30 % in the reduction of emissions if conditions allow this)
  • The percentage of early school leavers should be less than 10 % and at least 40 % of the youngest generation should have completed higher level studies
  • 20 million fewer people should face the threat of poverty

What should the EU spend its budget on in order to achieve these objectives?

The service sector

Economy

Tourist visas continue to be obligatory for many tourists from countries with emerging economies who visit Europe. Taking into account the fact that these emerging countries will be the markets that experience most growth in the future (page 7). 

Do you think that a restrictive policy with regard to providing tourist visas could affect the European tourism industry?

Types of economic integration

Economy

Based on the following article about the positive and negative effects of economic integration

Discuss whether the integration of two very different economies can be beneficial or prejudicial for the less developed country. Is it possible for a country to remain outside these policies of economic integration?

Enlargements

History

Based on a video which presents the advantages and disadvantages of belonging to the EU (subtitles in en, 1'57'')

To encourage students to take positions in a debate either in favour or against their country belonging to the EU.

From the ECSC to the Treaty of Lisbon

History

Bearing in mind the list of competences and how they are shared between the EU and its member states according to the Treaty of Lisbon  (bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, ga, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv)

Do you think that it is possible to advance any further with the process of European Integration? Would you return any of the EU competences to the member states, or vice versa?

The role of the EU within the international arena

History

From the video Is the EU a global nonentity? (fr and en with subtitles in bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv, 1’31’’)

Discussing the need for the EU to become a really global agent at the international level.

Do you think that the EU has the political weight within the international arena that should correspond to its size?

Europe after World War II

History

After WWII, Europe has experienced the longest period of peace in its history. Based on the arguments presented by the committee responsible for awarding the prize (en, no).

Does the EU deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

Have there been any exceptions to this in Europe during these 60 years of peace?

The institutions of the EU

History

Participation in European elections has fallen by 19% since the first elections to the European Parliament in 1979. In 2009, only eight countries had electoral turnouts of more than 50%.

Do you think that there is a relationship between participation in the European elections and the confidence of citizens in the EU?

Based on the video “How do the institutions of the EU work and why is there so much indifference?” (fr with subtitles in bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv, 14'38'')

Do you think that the way that the EU works is too complicated to be understood by the majority of its citizens?

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany

History

Based on the article about the negative effects of reunification (en)

Discuss the causes of discontent amongst citizens of the former GDR.

What did the fall of the Berlin Wall mean for the EU, beyond the reunification of Germany?

To what extent are the latest enlargements to the EU a direct consequence of the fall of the wall?

The founding fathers of the EU

History

Comparing the list of politicians who pose the “greatest danger” to Europe, according to the publication Der Spiegel, with the founding fathers of the EU.

What has caused the rise of this generation of Eurosceptic politicians?

In many cases they represent minority parties, but do you think that they are conditioning the policies of their respective countries with respect to Europe?

Sustainable development

Geography

Based on the presentation Twenty years of sustainable development in Europe?

Could it be said that the EU is making progress in everything relating to sustainable development?

Physical framework

Geography

The case of Turkey: Issues in the Establishment of Geographic, Cultural and Political Boundaries (en, fr, de)

Should the geographical limits of Europe determine the scope of the project for European Integration?

Is Turkey a European state?: The geographical criteria (es)

Political organisation of the countries of the EU

Geography

Based on the national sides of the 2 euro coins, which bear the iconographic symbols of each member state (bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv)

Is it possible to identify the systems of government of the countries of the EU?

Population

Geography

After reading the chapter entitled “European demographic tendencies are becoming consolidated” discuss the negative effects that immigration to the EU could have on the countries of origin

What could be done to prevent the negative effects of immigration on the countries of origin?

In the following article In the U.S., Acceptance; in Europe, Ghettos” analyse the differences in the integration of immigrants in Europe and the USA.

Discuss the reasons for these differences in the level of integration of immigrants in these societies

Common Agricultural Policy

Geography

Based on the map showing the distribution of rural and urban areas, the table showing the percentage of workers employed in agriculture and the file explaining the evolution of the CAP budget in relation to that of the EU as a whole, debate the following questions

Is it fair that 5% of the EU’s workers benefit from 40% of its budget?

What is the social utility of the CAP?

European Neighbourhood Policy

Geography

Based on the text A possible alternative: the truth (es)

Discuss whether the ENP could serve as an alternative to Turkey joining the EU

Common Fisheries Policy

Geography

Based on the National Geographic article about overfishing (en).

Do you think it is possible to maintain the current level of international fishing captures?

The negative effects about aquaculture (en, es, it, fr, de)

Is aquaculture a viable alternative despite the negative effects described in the article?

The regional policy of the EU

Geography

Based on a search for projects financed by EU cohesion funds

Discuss the utility of some of the projects that have been carried out in your region (bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, ga, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv)

Transport networks in Europe

Geography

Based on data about sustainable transport (en, fr, es, it, pl)

Discuss which types of transport measures should be promoted in Europe.

Secessionist tensions within the EU

Geography

Based on the video “Can the EU become a federation of regions?” (en, 9’53’’)

Discuss the possibility of creating an EU based on smaller states.

Based on the article  (es)

What would be the economic repercussions of the separation of a country within the EU?