Membership Of The EU

Advantages and disadvantages associated with Irish membership of the
European Union

Submitted to: Mr. Ciarán Coleman
By: Stephen Murphy
Student No: 99602954
Date: 27/04/01

In this assignment, I will attempt to highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with Irish membership of the EU and from this, form a personal opinion based on the information shown.

Stephen Murphy

The European Union

The European Union stands on the threshold of unparalleled change over the coming years. The next waves of enlargement will be unprecedented in nature and continental in scale. This process has gained so much political momentum that it is now irreversible.
The EU will grow by the decades end to at least 27 member states comprising the largest economic bloc in the world, accounting for 25% of global GDP and incorporating 500 million people within its borders. Of these 500 million people, approximately 3.4 million of them will hold a passport stamped with the word Éire.

These are very exciting times for our country, we are now part of the largest economic community the world has ever seen, opening the doors of opportunity for us, the Irish citizens, everywhere we look. Ireland’s membership of the EU is seen by most to be of great benefit to the country as it will solidify the foundations of our economy as well as increase the awareness of Ireland as an investment opportunity for multi national companies; however, some will argue that the change would be detrimental to our nation in the long run.

European Community Flag Irish Flag

The beneficial aspect of Irish membership can, in most cases, be easily seen in three main areas:

· Economical
· Social
· Political


The economical advantages are those that are most evident in our nation these days. Consumers want products, products need delivering, deliveries require logistics, and logistics cannot be performed without the proper road network. It is here that EU grants have helped, being instrumental in the upgrading of our road infrastructure, allowing them to cope with the increased flow of traffic created by our now booming “Celtic Tiger” economy. This upgrading has enticed international companies to set up factories on Irish sites, knowing that there is a good road network between air and seaports etc. to facilitate export, although at the current rate of growth, this network will have to be upgraded further to cope with the demand.

The introduction of a single market will be of benefit to both consumer and business alike. For the producer, the single market will open up more export opportunities than ever before, allowing more and more Irish companies to sell their goods and provide services in more and more countries around the continent. Ireland’s geographical position in Europe must also be noted when discussing export markets, as Ireland, being on the western periphery of the Union, will make an excellent point for goods being exported to the USA. The consumer will benefit from this market by way of increased product availability and the added bonus of a single currency will make exchange rates a thing of the past.
The single currency or European Monetary Union (EMU) is an aspect of EU membership that will greatly affect all people in each of the member states.
At the European Council meeting held in Madrid in December 1995, the European Heads of State, decided to call this single currency the Euro, and come January 1st 2002, Euro notes and coins will come into circulation. Until February 28th, there will be a system of dual currency in all member states, and after this date, the National currencies that were will no longer be legal tender and the changeover to the European single currency will be complete.
There are 8 euro coins denominated in 1 and 2 euros, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Every euro coin will carry a common European face and on the obverse, each Member State will decorate the coins with their own motifs. No matter which motif is on the coins they can be used anywhere inside any of the Member States. For example, a French citizen will be able to buy a hot dog in Dublin using a euro coin carrying the imprint of the King of Spain.
There are 7 euro notes, each in different colours and sizes. They are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10