UK’s Road to Leaving the EU

It is one of the more storied relationships in the way of countries. The UK and EU is a relationship that has seen a number of ups and downs. All of that came to a halt in 2016, when a good portion of the UK voted to leave the EU. It was a move that both shocked and yet did not shock. Depending on where you stood in relation to the issue, you were either amazed or saw it coming. The question has to be asked, why do people in the UK have such a strained relationship for those in the EU? Most of the people that go to Europe love all that; there is to offer in the area. Between the food and the sights, many in the UK have gone on to move to European countries. To fully understand the elements at play that got us to this point, you need to understand the history between the UK and the EU.

The UK’s Efforts Begin

In 1961, Britain applied twice to join the EU. This was both times shot down by French President Charles De Gaulle who said the country had motives for wanting to join the EU or EEC as it was known back then. The feeling was that they were more interested in interests over in the United States than they were over in Europe. Finally, in 1973 with all of the pieces in place, it was time for them to finally become a member. A vote of 67% should have put an end to the debate, but instead, there was not the economic boom as had been promised, instead it was still a slow trickle that seemed to flow in both directions and things seemed to only be getting worse for the UK. They were looking at inflation that was in double digits and as a result a lot of people wondered if letting the UK in was as good of an idea as they had thought it was. To say that the 1970’s were not a good time for the UK was an understatement and that as a result led to a lot of people wanting to get rid of the UK, but the process to kick out was a lot harder than opening the door to let them in.

The “Iron Lady” Rallies to Gain Support for the EU

The 1980’s were hoped to be a little more settled and it seemed as though things might begin the process of getting that way, until the divide between Britain and Brussels began to get wider and wider. Margret Thatcher was doing her best to seal up the wounds, but the injuries to the relationship seemed to be taking their toll and the relationship seemed to be getting more and more strained. Not only did other countries think that letting the UK in was a bad idea, member countries of the UK began to question if they were backing the right movement. Chaos seemed to be reigning and there was no apparent end to all of the confusion. It could be said that Margret Thatcher gave her political career in order to save the UK from leaving the EU. Her downfall was tied very heavy to the efforts that she placed in trying to save her one cause that she believed so strongly in.

The Relationship gets better

The late 90’s saw a new era in relations between the UK and the EU. Tony Blair went a long way to try and patch things up between the two sides. This as a result made things look like the relationship was turning a corner and all the ugliness that had happened in the years past was finally over with. This was a false sense of hope as eventually things would break down and lead to a relationship that was in some regards more strained than it had been prior to the Tony Blair era. This was the first real sign that the two sides simply could not work together. David Cameron was the first British PM to block a treaty that came from Europe and that act alone set him apart from a lot of the other leaders in the EU as they looked at him and wondered if the sentiment that De Galle had expressed all those years back was really the truth. This also meant that the icy reception that the UK got already was about to get a lot colder.

The UK Leaves the EU

Finally, in 2016 what has started in 1961 and was approved in the mid 70’s was undone when the people of the UK went to the poles and voted for them to leave the EU. This finally was the sign that the UK was tired of the EU and that they wanted to take their countries in a new direction. If this was a good thing or a bad thing has yet to be seen and who knows, the UK may one day, find themselves knocking at the door of the EU once again; until that time, it is safe to say that the UK is good with the way things stand between them and the EU.

It is obvious that anyone that has studied any history of the UK, that they are not in need as much as the EU is in need of them. The UK and its member have taken the first steps needed to show that they are able to stand without support and that the EU will not hold them down under their treaties and rules. Many people will say that if you had left it up to the people to begin with, that they would have never even voted in 61 to join the EU.

Against Europe

The anti-Europe sentiment was apparent in the fact that the vote was not even as close as many experts had said that it was expected to be. Time will be the ultimate measure as to if this was the right decision but if you ask some in the UK, they will tell you that this was a move that was long overdue and one that will lead the UK in a better brighter future.

As was stated in the beginning, this was one of the rockier relationships that the world has seen in quite some time and one that will have an impact on the rest of the world. Just like with people when two countries break up, there is always those that get in the middle and are involved. France and Germany are a classic example of this as they are seemingly experiencing their own issues with the topic of Frexit being talked about as of late. This could be the beginning of a lot of countries deciding that if the UK can do it, then they can leave as well and be just as happy without the EU as they are with it.

European Union Research funding

When it comes to research funding carried out by the European Union, it’s done in a variety of ways. Mainly operated through the use of grants. Not just anyone gets these grants though; you have to go through the applying process. There are different kinds of grants depending on the research. In this article we’ll be reviewing each of the grants along with the different search topics and key elements of the researches.

Seeking or waiting for a project partner

The very first thing a person should know is that any research organization, company can step up to be considered a partner. Keep in mind that the research organization or company has to be financially accountable and have the knowledge and skill to carry out the particular tasks required for the project proposal that have to be completed with expertise. If you want to find a partner faster and you’re rather new then try out the partner search services that is at your disposal. The partner search services links you up with other organizations, who are interested in finding a partner for them to collaborate with in proposals. The organization or company could also publish proposals they may have and wait for a partner jumping at collaborations to contact. This leads into the programs which we’ll discuss further in the article since depending on the particular programs, national contact points can be useful too.

Process of the application to gain research fund

The process for gaining a research fund is usually carried out in one to two stages. For the first regular state, it’s very simple. Just send in an application. If it’s the second stage make a summary proposal. Make sure it’s catchy and it’s attractive so that it can be short-listed. Once it’s short-listed, an invitation will be sent out granting you the ability to submit the full application in the second phase where you’ll be a step closer to funding. Now as a reminder, remember once you have a specific call in mind, check the guidelines and meet the requirements well. Keep in mind to register your company or organization with the commission, that’s very important too.

Process of careful selection

When the selection process rolls in, things get tricky. It gets tricky because of the evaluation, since if something is off your proposal may be rejected fast. Be prepared for the fact that there may be different evaluation procedures depending on the funding he/she may have. Depending on the budget, all of the proposals can be selected or only a few may be selected. If it isn’t available right away, don’t stress it. Proposals that didn’t receive funding may receive it later on if more funds are available.

Grant agreement and management guide

Making proposals really isn’t that difficult once you get the hang of it and neither is managing the direction your project goes. When the agreement is signed, you’ll have to manage your project well and make sure it meets up to the standards set. This is done easily since guidance is provided so you aren’t walking into a dark cave with no lighting. The guidance is the light and as the name implies, it will guide you through the entire process smoothly. It’s all there; all he/she has to do is stick to the guides. Depending on the project you may be asked to add in deliverables. Deliverables consist of things like special report, list, info, software milestone and other deliverables that may be suggested in accordance to the grant agreement. If there are any potential changes to the terms and conditions of the grant agreement, you’ll be notified and the grant agreement will be amended. That isn’t anything serious though since the commission will be rounded to keep track and make sure everything runs smoothly through the process. It’s like an older brother giving his younger brother constructive advice as the little brother learns over time. Another useful tip, over the duration of the project make sure to keep the records and documents that will prove you’ve done the project exactly as it was stated. The costs should be recorded too, it’s good to be cautious and all of that falls into managing your project which isn’t too difficult.

Kinds of funds

Next an individual should be aware of the kind of funding he/she can go for. There are prizes, grants, subsidies, loans and other ways of gaining the funding for the project you have in mind. If you partake in a competition Horizon2020 makes, you can receive a prize that can be applied to your special project. Obviously there will be competition as there is all over the world. So, if you aren’t up to too much competition, then go for a grant or subsidy. Subsidies are handled by the European Union national governments directly. There are different ones like agricultural cash subsidies that are given to farmers. If you know you’ll be gaining a lot of money through the project then consider taking a loan that you’ll be able to pay off later on. Make the right moves and you’ll gain much more than you put out and you’ll also be helping many living organisms one way or another with the project you complete. An individual will have to go through those options and choose the one that best benefits him/her.

Different programs example

Now, we’ll go over the many ways of getting funding. The majority of the European funding is handed out by the European Union itself. Comparing this to the European commission and it’s a considerable difference. The European commission’s awards grants straightforward. European Union programs help better the world with the assistance of the European Commission that is assisting in keeping organizations and planned projects the EU programs have. Among programs there are the HORIZON 2020, COSME, ESF, JUSTICE PROGRAMME and various others. All of those programs have found project partners in the past and are very professional. When applying a program, it will be challenged by other programs to win a particular funding from the specific call – so projects have to be top notch.

Agreement of the grant

Once your proposal is accepted, you’re invited to sign a grant agreement. Just like when someone is going to sign to lease a car or a house or when someone goes for a payday loan. Before getting the grant you have to accept some terms and conditions in the agreement. In the agreement you’ll provide accurate legal information. You’ll have to be ready to shift your proposal around if the evaluation report says to do it. Making minor changes isn’t too difficult. After the agreement is settled, the exciting part comes in. When receiving the money, it’ll be sent out in various installments however long the project is. The pre-financing payments come in, then a few interim payments and then after completing the project, the final payment is sent.

European commission power over funds

Managing your funds will be very important. The majority of EU funding is operated below various programs that are managed together by the European commission as well as other national authorities through the European Union countries. Recap, the European commission controls the budgets that the projects have. This means that it rules over the project’s headquarters, European Union agencies, departments etc. Anything that requires transferring funds somewhere or awarding the grants goes by the European commission first. Just like direct management there is indirect management where national authorities work in the shadows.

Funding topics

The European Union funds and supports the best researchers around the world on a wide variety of topics. These topics range from frontier research, energy research, agriculture, how to improve the environment, adding better policies and how policies may affect certain humans, science in society and so many other topics where the funds are being put to use well. Anyone can get down to making proposals as long as they have the right team and creative innovative minds. All research can benefit all humans worldwide. What other country does that? It’s honestly very impressive.


With all of that in mind, the final thing that will be recapped is who exactly is eligible for research funding. You’d be surprised at the answer. Firstly young people can apply from ages 13 to 31. There are particular programs that are particularly for young people to study abroad and gain a lot of experience of the world around them. Information on that can be found through funding calls so dig around after this. Small businesses can take the plunge and go for a fund too. Farmers receive direct payments and if they’re interested in more funds then they’ll have to provide certain information on plant and animals conditions on the farm, make sure that the environment isn’t hazardous in anyway. There are others but mainly researchers are the individuals who are held to a high regard simply because of the fact that research is very important to the European Union. Which are you? Do you fall into one of those? If so, get started and seek a research fund. Remember you’re entitled to access on important information. So look up the financial transparency system for beneficiaries’ info.

EU Institutions

When it comes to the European Union institution and the way it functions, there are so many dynamic components to the entire system that differs from others such as the 28 other states. There are a total of seven European Union institutions. Those seven institutions are the European council, the European commission, the European parliament, the European Union’s council, the auditor’s court, the European Union’s court of justice and the European central bank. Each plays a key role to maintaining the union’s functionality. In this article we’ll be going over the institutions and you’ll be gaining some useful facts and information on the Institutions. With that said, we’ll be starting with the European council.

Seven European Union Institutions

European council & the European Union’s council

The proposal for a European council dates back to 1974 and the European Union was later created in 1993. It had been established as a place where the community’s top leaders like the heads of state or the government, could have serious in-depth political discussions that pertain to the lives of many. There are three different councils. They’re each different from each other. The council of Europe is tasked with safeguarding the parliamentary democracy and human rights. The headquarters for the European Union is in Brussels and the way the presidency works is that it rotates around every six months throughout the 28 member states united.

The European Union’s council doesn’t meet all the time. Their meetings depend on the topics that arise at that current point in time. These topics are discussed and handled accordingly by the most intelligent men in Europe that have the right judgement and knowledge to make the right choices for everyone. If the topic is about foreign affairs the primary 28 ministers responsible for the particular subject, meetup and discuss whatever it is that’s related to foreign affairs. During this session, the ministers of the council bounce around proposals and put into effect community legislation’s. The committee is made up of representatives who are permanently representatives of the 28 member states and help the council by making sure drafts and proposals are ready by the time the session begins.

When it comes to voting within the European Union’s council there are three processes that have to be completed when making big decisions. One of the first processes is by the voting going towards the qualified majority which means that the most qualified individuals that are in favor of something will win. So if there are 30 qualified individuals and 20 out of that 30 choose in favor of something, whatever they choose will win. The second process is similar to the first except, the simple majority side with 15 votes out of 28 wins and this process is rarely used. It’s only really used when there’s a stipulation occurring with the treaties. The third and final process is voting by unanimity.

European Commission

The second institution we’ll be covering is the European commission. It’s located in Brussels where there are over 18,000 members and then 2,500 or more people work in Luxembourg too. The research centers are located in Karlsruhe (Germany), Petten (Netherlands), Ispra (Italy) and Geel (Belgium). Currently the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Junker is the President of the European Commission. When law proposals are sent to the European parliament it is firstly managed by over 30,000 agents from the European commission, then sent out to be potentially passed as a new law. The given term for individuals who serve in this line of work is “eurocrats“. One of the very first and major responsibilities that this institution has is external trade and using its legislative initiative and important executive abilities in policies the right way. The administration is mainly done by this institution. The European commission essentially has the role of making sure European politics are carried out and prepared the right way. Preparations are done through preliminary interviews, those governments of all the states have to follow through along with various other experts who will go over the legislative text.

The European commission does not only serve as an administrator though, it also works various other ways like:

  • It puts into effect the fact that there is a budget and let the union know.
  • Makes sure the communities legislation is well executed.
  • It serves as a voice to the world of what the European Union has its attention on, particularly their concerns on what’s occurring around the world.

The European Parliament

The third institution is the European Union’s council. The European Parliament’s role has grown significantly since 1957. It sets the communities budget and can overturn a budget if it has valid reasons, the parliament can make suggestions to edit the compulsory expenditures and shift around the non-compulsory expenditures too. The European parliament allows citizens of the European Union to take part in political matters. Citizens elect their members once every 5 years. The parliament is comprised of over 751 members who were directly elected and originate from one of the 28 member states and embodied the 508 million civilians of the European Union. When it comes down to working, parliamentary committees that deal with different topics are created temporarily. These topics range from economy related topics to budgets that need to be discussed and many other topics. Its main task is to negotiate and uphold the acquisition of a position related to the treaties discussed between applying countries. That leads into the duties of each political group. Depending on the particular political group an individual is in, each group is appointed a set of duties. The parliament is made up of seven political groups. The Group of Socialists and Democrats who are in the European Parliament, European Conservatives and Reformists, Group of the European People’s Party, the Greens/European Free-Alliance Greens groups, Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group, Group of allied Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the Europeans united group of confederates. In order to create a political group, an individual would have to gather around 24 other people who’ve been elected in at least one fourth of all states. Out of the seven political groups though, The European People’s Party is said to have the most members.

The Auditors Court

This institution is located in Luxembourg. The Auditors Court is made up of 250 agents and the 28 members originate from one of all the states. The members are active for six years and as for the agents, the agents assist in controlling the budget the community is under. Its primary task is to go over whether revenues were received or not and that expenditures are carried out. This makes it the job of the Auditors Court to make sure that the European Union’s financial affairs are handled appropriately, legally and won’t get out of hand. Towards the end of each year, the Auditors Court release a financial report that’s sent out to the European Communities in order to keep everyone well informed. The report serves as a weapon to make the EU institutions guarantee funds are handled well. During that same year the Auditors Court also gives comments and opinions on various topics too since it is mandatory for the other institutions to consult with it before they’re able to adopt texts that have to do with resources and financial regulations that could affect the community. So remember, it supervises institutions under the union as well as any organization that profits from managing funds tied to the European Union. In member states this is specifically done through close collaborations with the national audit bodies. Keep in mind that the Auditors Court doesn’t have its own judicial power, so it’s not all high and mighty. Each of the institutions balances the others out.

The European Union’s Court of Justice

The court of justice is located in Luxembourg. It isn’t the European Court of Human Rights or the International Court of Justice, so keep that in mind. The only legal aspect of the union is The European Union’s Court of Justice. It serves as a guardian who keeps a watchful eye to make sure the communities legislation has no trouble and is applied the right way. There are a total of 28 judges who are each from one of all the states. These judges are chosen by legal experts who know they’re capable of the position. Aside from the judges there are 9 advocates-generals who can be renewed for a six-year term as well. The advocates have to uphold the same criteria of legit competence and independence. Leading the forefront in the public presentations, whatever affairs a judge from the court may put forth, and the advocate-general handles them accordingly.

The court is accessible to all parties whether it be a person, member of any state or community institutions. This means that it can be used to dispute concerns that may arise in the community regarding an EU institution or even a community act. So if a person gets through all of the national appeals, he/she gains the right to make an appeal to the Court of Justice to defend their right and whatever they’re there for where other Europeans will see the case. There are three primary forms of appeal. That is failure to act, appeal in abuse and/or neglect and the action of annulment. When making the final verdict, the decision is carried out by the majority of the 28 judges and is then applied right away into the member states without a second thought.

The European Central Bank

Lastly, the European central bank is the final Institution. It’s located in Frankfurt Germany. It was officially established in 1998. The European Central Bank houses a lot of the euros and is known as one of the biggest areas in the world where currency is held. It’s comprised of about 19 European Union member states. Its main goal is to make sure that euro prices are kept stable and stay within the regulations and rules of European Union’s policies that have to deal with money and the economy. This creates more job opportunities this is what this institution also strives for.