English teacher: Ms Green
What does the European Union mean for you?
For me, the EU represents an opportunity to have closer communication and relationships with citizens from other European countries. As a teacher, I enjoy the opportunity to meet students from other European countries and to both teach and learn from them! My family and I spend a lot of time in France and this is made much easier for us because of the freedom of movement which being a member of the EU offers. It is also easier to move between countries that have a single European currency.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking part in this Union?
Advantages: As I said in the previous answer, the main advantages for me are freedom of movement and a single currency. On a broader level, the EU allows for study and employment opportunities for its citizens in each other’s countries. EU financial aid for countries struggling economically can also be an advantage.
Disadvantages: A tendency on the part of the European Commission to assert too much control over its member states.
In your opinion, what are the most urgent problems that Europe has to deal with?
At present, the single most urgent problem that Europe has to deal with is the Refugee Crisis which has spiralled out of control. Until those in power within the EU face this problem and come up with workable solutions, Europe is in a precarious position. The growth in popularity of ISIS and Fundamentalism is also a huge threat and very frightening. The terrorist attacks over the past few years prove just how great a problem this is. Brexit is also something that has potential to cause difficulties for Europe unless it is negotiated properly.
French Teacher: Ms Freyne
What does European Union mean for you?
For me it is a way of showing our traditions, cultures, people and businesses with others.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of taking part in this Union?
In my opinion the advantage are -free movement of people which benefits education and business. The common single European market also allows better movement of good and this helps to faster grow businesses. It is a melting point of cultures in bigger cities like London and this can encourage a better understanding of each other and different cultures.
Disadvantages are that the European Parliament makes many decisions which we must obey and do not agree with as a country. Free movement of people can mean less security in this age of terrorism.
In your opinion what are the most urgent problems that Europe has to deal with ?
In my opinion the refugees because most Europeans live a similar lifestyle. Many of the refugees come from a different background. They come in large numbers and Europe needs a better plan to ensure their integration into society so that mutual respect exists. Also, it should not be left to the countries on the front like Italy, Greece, etc to deal with alone. There are too many refugees and not many resources for countries to cope. Therefore more resources are needed. Brexit is the other big issue and for Ireland it is more prevalent than the refugees since the largest part of our export and business is done with Britain. We also have a land border with them where people can move freely. We don’t want to return to the years ’07, with checkpoints and passport on the border, since integration is something which is constantly being worked on. There may be peace in Northern Ireland, but Brexit could make that situation very precarious.