The European Union. What is the EU. The European Union is a group of countries whose governments work together. It's a bit like a club. To join you have to agree to follow the rules and in return you get certain benefits.
The European Union
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The European Union is a group of countries whose governments work together.
It's a bit like a club. To join you have to agree to follow the rules and in return you get certain benefits.
Each country has to pay money to be a member. They mostly do this through taxes.
The EU uses the money to change the way people live and do business in Europe.
Countries join because they think that they will benefit from the changes the EU makes.
What does the EU do?
A lot of what the EU does is about bringing people in Europe closer together. It tries to make it easier for Europeans to buy and sell things to each other. This is done by changing the rules that control trade.
European money - The euro
The euro is a type of money that is used by 16 countries in Europe. At the moment the United Kingdom does not use the euro.
The government has said that the UK economy must pass a number of important tests before the politicians will think about joining the euro.
If the UK does pass those tests then it's thought everyone in the country who is allowed to vote will help decide if the UK joins up.
What are Pro-Europeans?
They think being in the EU is a good idea and often want the UK to start using the Euro currency. Pro-Europe people think Britain will benefit from being part of a larger group of countries.
They often argue that Britain is in danger of being left behind by the rest of the EU if it doesn't join the Euro.
What are Eurosceptics?
Some Eurosceptics feel that the UK is different from other European countries. They are often worried that the UK is losing its independence and identity.
One of the British political parties within the parliament don't want the UK to be in the Union at all. They are called the UK Independence Party or UKIP.