More dubious birthday 'perks'

I know it's old news now, but Time produced a little slideshow about the EU's birthday which I missed. It's worth a read. As well as the usual major acheivements (such as freedom of movement, low cost airlines, etc.) it highlights some rather bizarre 'perks'.

For example, I never thought the Common Agricultural Policy would be considered a European triumph. The success of an immaculate French countryside, subsidised by about €10 billion of the EU budget, while the rest of Europe is left in its shadow is highly questionable. The disproportionate allocation of EU funds to an ever shrinking sector of industry (agriculture counts for just 1% of the UK economy) increases the average family weekly shopping bill by £16. And then there's the external effects of the policy on third countries, restricting/excluding their products from the European market. While Time may think that its 'impurities' are justified by the beauty of the French countryside on a beautiful Dordoyne summer morning, personally, I would not put the CAP on my list.

Likewise, to celebrate Beethoven being the European anthem. This brings the whole list into question. Time says that at least 'kids learn one bit of classical music.' Erm...no, afraid not. Unlike across the pond, where the star spangled banner is sung daily at dawn, Beethoven is not played hand-on-heart facing towards Brussels at the beginning of every school day. I feel they may have been relying on the Europa website a little too much for this one.

Nevertheless, it's a nice little slideshow with some well selected photos.

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