European Union conversation questions
- What is your opinion of the European Union (the EU)?
- Do you think the EU will ever be as economically powerful as the US? If so, when?
- Do you think the EU will ever be as militarily powerful as the US? What would be your opinion of this situation?
- There are said to be two views of the European Union's development: deeper and wider. Those who want a "deeper" union want increased European integration in such things as laws, taxes and social security among the existing members. Those who want a "wider" union want to simply expand the trading block so as to make the potential free trade market bigger. Is there any conflict between these views? In other words, do you think that the "deeper the union the harder it is to make it wider"; and "the wider the union the harder it is to make it deeper"? Which vision do you think is best and why?
- Do you think there is any reason for EU membership being limited to European countries, or should any country be eligible to join?
- Do you know where the European continent "ends"? What do you think about the idea of Russia, Turkey, Israel, or Egypt becoming members of the EU?
- The European parliament is more powerful than any national parliament, yet elections to the European parliament produce monumental boredom in the general public. Such elections frequently seem to be an opportunity to vote "against" the party in government in each country. How could people be encouraged to take more interest in the European parliament?
- How would you react to the idea of a directly elected "President of Europe" in the same way as a "President of the United States"?
- What do you think that a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) does all day?
- The bureaucracy of the European Union spends a vast amount of money on translation services. What do you think about the suggestion that all EU business be carried out in only one language? Which language should that be?
- Europe used to be regularly torn apart by wars but it is presently experiencing a long period of peace. Do you think that is as a consequence of the EU or is there any other reason?
- In 2012 the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize. What do you think of this?
- Do you think there is any such thing as "European society"? If so, how would you define it? How does it differ from American or Asian society?
- Is there any European country that you particularly like visiting, or that you'd like to visit?
- What is your opinion of the Eurovision song contest?
- In the United States the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for investigating crimes which affect the US state, and there are also federal courts. Would the creation of a similar Europe-wide police and justice system be a good idea? What would be the advantages and disadvantages?
Nationalism and independence movements
- Many European nations have within them nationalist minorities who want independence from a larger state. Why do they want this independence? What advantages, if any, would their citizens obtain?
- European Union countries don't control their borders, their interest rates or, in the case of Eurozone countries, their currency. Many national laws now come from Brussels. Is any country within the EU independent?
- What is the difference between nationalism and racism?
Brexit, short for British exit, is the United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union.
- What do you think about the referendum that was held on 23 June 2016?
- Why did a majority of Brits vote to quit the EU? For economic/cultural/ethnic reasons?
- Will the UK be better off outside the EU?
- How do you envisage the future of the EU without the UK?