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Does anybody understand how the EU works?


This article was first published on the Online EU Training blog


The EU has been struggling with what they call ‘lack of legitimacy‘. This in plain English means that very few people actually know what EU institutions are doing in Brussels, and even fewer Europeans understand how these bodies work. So, as they said before the Irish vote on the Lisbon Treaty: “if you don’t know, vote no!“.


What does the EU do to actually explain to citizens why it is needed? Not enough.


We see efforts from the European Commission to create some PowerPoints for schoolkids, or put flowchart on the co-decision procedure (which is no longer called this way but renamed to ‘ordinary legislative procedure’), but not a single multimedia presentation on explaining the EU in understandable, non-jargon language to ordinary, interested citizens.


We think it’s time to bridge the gap and if the EU instituions don’t act, we should.


Does anybody understand how the EU works?
That is why we at Arboreus, without any EU or other public money or help, decided to create eight e-learning courses that explain, with dozens of examples, how each EU institution works, what they do, why they exist, which topics they deal with and how it is relevant to European businesses, citizens, companies, students and employees from Portgual to Estonia, from Ireland to Greece.


Though not easy, we tried to connect EU institutions to the Irish farmer who wants to sell his beef to German consumers, or explain how the EU tries to reduce CO2 emissions in cars, or what the European Parliament does to fight for global human rights in Myanmar. All of this in a clean, understandable and very enjoyable way.


We will, each week, upload a new e-course on the EU: we started already with the Lisbon Treaty and the European Parliament, but soon you will see the rest: the European Commission, the Council of Ministers and European Council, the Advisory, Financial and Regulatory Bodies of the EU, the EU Courts and Judicial System, the EU’s commercial policy and others that are being created now.

Time to close the gap: the EU is too important these days and decreasing legitimacy can have dangerous consequences. So here is our humble contribution for a better, stronger Europe that citizens will finally understand and might as well support.


Click here to see the e-learning course on the European Parliament!


Click here to see the e-learning course on the Lisbon Treaty!


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