- GENERAL OVERVIEW ABOUT THE EUROPEAN UNION
Q. What is the EU?
A.The EU is an international organization established by the Governments of the States that are members of it in order to implement joint and shared actions in areas where collaboration can produce better results than the individual action of individual States.
More information on the official website of the European Union
Q. Who had the idea of the European Community ?
A. The idea of a united Europe has strong cultural and historical roots.
Already in the nineteenth century Victor Hugo was hoping for the birth of the "United States of Europe", and it was thanks to the work of statesmen like Adenauer, Churchill, De Gasperi and Schuman that a long and important process of unification took place, first of all economic, therefore political and cultural, which gave birth to the European Community.
More information on the founding fathers of the European Union
Q. Why is the European Union useful to citizens?
A. The single market created by the Union has important consequences on the everyday life of its citizens: they can consume a wide range of products, with controlled prices and subjected to strict safety standards, and live in a protected environment. Every citizen is free to seek work in any other member state of the Union.
Every university student can access training courses abroad through exchange programs.
For more information on the rights of European citizens
Q. Which member countries of the European Union have adopted the euro?
A. There are 19 member countries participating in the euro: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. The set of these nations is frequently called "Eurozone", or "Euroland".
The remaining member countries of the European Union, the United Kingdom and Denmark have a special reservation from the Maastricht Treaty which exempts them from the formal obligation to adhere to the common currency. All the others, on the contrary, are destined to flow into the euro area as soon as their economic parameters allow it.
For more information on the Euro zone.
Q. What is the White Paper?
A. The White Paper is the European Commission's contribution 60 years after the Treaties of Rome. The text identifies the factors of change for the next decade and presents five different scenarios for the possible evolution of the European Union between now and 2025:
scenario 1 - go on like this
scenario 2 - only the single market
scenario 3 - those who want more do more
scenario 4 - do less more efficiently
scenario 5 - do much more together
For more information go to the European Commission website
Q. What is the Schengen treaty and which countries of the Union are members of it?
A. The Schengen area, one of the most concrete advances of the European Union, is a free movement area where border controls have been abolished for all travelers, except in special circumstances. The Schengen area is currently composed of 28 countries, of which 22 are members of the European Union and 4 are non-members (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
It does not include Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, and Romania, for which the treaty has not yet entered into force, and Ireland and the United Kingdom, which have not adhered to the convention by exercising the so-called opt-out clause.
In practice, within this area the citizens of the European Union and those of third countries can move freely without being subjected to border checks. In contrast, a flight within the EU that links a Schengen state to a non-Schengen state is subject to border controls. The collapse of the internal borders has the effect of strengthening the external borders of the Schengen area.
The member states on its borders therefore have the responsibility of organizing rigorous border controls and assigning short-term visas to the people who enter them, if necessary.
For more information on the Schengen area
- EU CITIZENS' RIGHTS
Q. What rights does the European Union grant citizens?
A. The European Union has been founded, since its creation, on respect for human rights, democratic institutions and compliance with the law, and these are the values enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The enjoyment of these rights gives rise to responsibilities and duties towards others as well as the human community and future generations. Therefore the institutions of the Union, in all their legislative actions or initiatives, must take into account the civil, political and economic and social rights of European citizens.
For more information on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Q. What is the right of initiative of European citizens?
A. A citizens' initiative is an invitation to the European Commission to propose a legislative act on issues for which the EU has the competence to legislate. An initiative must be supported by at least one million European citizens, from at least 7 of the 27 EU Member States. A minimum number of signatures is also required for each of the 7 countries (for Italy it is 54750).
A citizens' initiative can be promoted in any sector in which the Commission can propose a legislative act, such as environment, agriculture, transport or public health.
For more information on the Right of initiative of European citizens
Q. Can I use my mobile phone abroad? Are there reduced rates for Europe?
A. Since June 2017, mobile devices can be used for journeys within the EU by paying the same price as in their own country, or roaming at national rates, subject to the policies of correct use of the operators. For example, those paying a monthly subscription for a set of minutes of communication, SMS and data in their own country and, traveling abroad, make calls, send SMS or use data, will see these activities deducted from their package without costs additional, as if he had not moved from home.
For more information on Roaming in the European Union
Q. What is European citizenship?
A. Any citizen of a Member State is a citizen of the Union, therefore he also has European citizenship.
Citizenship of the Union was established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. It is complementary to the national citizenship of the Member States and does not replace it. With the acquisition of citizenship of a country belonging to the European Union, community citizenship is also automatically acquired. Union citizens enjoy rights conferred on them by the Treaty and are subject to duties imposed on them by the Treaty itself. With it we want to promote democratic participation in the decision-making process, a European political conscience and a common identity. Fundamental rights are the freedom to move and the right to stay in the territory of the Member States; the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in the Member State in which he resides; the right to protection by diplomatic and consular authorities; the right to petition before the European Parliament; the right to contact the mediator.
For more information on European Citizenship.
Q. What has the European Union done for passenger rights?
A. The affirmation, the strengthening and the active aknowledgement of passengers' rights is one of the European Union's priorities. It addressed his invitation to all the member countries of the Community to activate a capillary information on the prerogatives and rules, the respect of which stands as a pivotal element in the path towards high levels of service quality in air transport. The Charter of Passenger Rights has been in force in all European countries since February 2005.
For more information on the Air Transport Passenger Charter
- MOBILITY AND OPPORTUNITY
Q. What is European funding?
A. European funding can be direct or indirect. Direct funding consists of grants and / or co-financing that the EU provides to small and medium-sized enterprises, institutions,, organizations, and other recipients that vary according to the type of call. In order to be aware of the different types of European calls (also called "Calls for proposals") it is advisable to monitor the European Official Journal or some databases that already select invitations and publish them online. The Official Journal of the EU is accessible online: the C section (Communications and information) contains the notices of the calls. The "Business and financing" section of the European Commission Representation in Italy is also useful.
Indirect European funding is the Structural Funds that are managed at the regional level; objective of this type of financing is to promote economic and social cohesion in the EU.
For more information on the Structural Funds of the Veneto Region
Q. What are the opportunities for internships at EU institutions and bodies?
A. It is possible to have temporary work experience or internship at EU institutions through EPSO. The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) provides information to enter selections at EU institutions; it also provides information on career opportunities at the institutions themselves.
For more information on EPSO - European Personnel Selection Office
Q. What is EVS European Voluntary Service?
A. The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is one of the actions of the Youth in Action Program in support of non-formal education. It is coordinated nationally by the National Youth Agency. It offers the possibility of carrying out a volunteering experience in another European country in the sectors of the environment, culture, arts, social or youth policies.
The task of the volunteer changes according to the sector in which the project is developed and the target to which it is addressed. The projects unfold over a period ranging from 2 to 12 months; those of shorter duration are aimed at disabled children or those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Travel costs are borne by the sending agency, while the costs of food, lodging and local transport are guaranteed by the host agency as well as language training. The volunteer is also guaranteed a monthly allowance which varies from country to country.
Entities wishing to participate in the European voluntary service, both as host institutions and sending institutions, must be accredited by their national agency.
For more information on EVS - European Voluntary Service
A. The European Solidarity Corps is a European initiative that gives many young people the opportunity to gain full-time volunteering experience lasting between 2 and 12 months or as an alternative to professional work, an internship or an apprenticeship.
Young people will be able to engage in initiatives and projects in various sectors: education, health care, social integration, assistance in the distribution of food and non-food products, construction of shelters, reception and integration of migrants and refugees, environmental protection or prevention of natural disasters.
Food, accommodation, travel expenses and insurance are free. A subsistence allowance is also provided.
For more information on the European Solidarity Corps
Q. What are the publications available at your office?
A. At our office it is possible to find free brochures, flyers and posters mostly aimed at schools and young people about various European subjects.
These publications, divided by thematic index, can be consulted and downloaded on the European website http://bookshop.europa.eu where everyone can directly request a copy of the available publications. The sending of publications is subject to availability and is not always possible.
For more information on European Union publications