The United Kingdom’s flag (left) and the European Union flag outside EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (AP)

The United Kingdom’s flag (left) and the European Union flag outside EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (AP)

European Union member countries are shown in blue.

European Union member countries are shown in blue.

A demonstrator in favor of Brexit holds a British flag reading “Leave Means Leave” in front of the Winston Churchill statue in London. (AP)

A demonstrator in favor of Brexit holds a British flag reading “Leave Means Leave” in front of the Winston Churchill statue in London. (AP)

Demonstrators against Brexit shout and wave signs in London. (AP)

Demonstrators against Brexit shout and wave signs in London. (AP)

A road sign with UK and EU flags—the picture seems to hint at what’s going on as arguments over Brexit go round and round. (AP)

A road sign with UK and EU flags—the picture seems to hint at what’s going on as arguments over Brexit go round and round. (AP)

Why the EU?

Posted: September 3, 2019

Europe is the second smallest continent. Australia is the smallest. But it has only three countries. Europe has 50 nations packed into it!

Leaders in Europe wanted to join forces. Why? They thought it would make them stronger and help them make better deals with the rest of the world. People could use one kind of money instead of fifty kinds. They would have some laws in common. They could cross borders from country to country freely. If you live in a large country like the United States or China, it likely takes lots of planning to travel to get to another country. You usually need to apply for a passport. But in Europe, crossing national borders is often as easy as hopping on a train.

Organizers also hoped the EU would help people from different nations live peacefully. They hoped that people would keep the things that made their nation unique. But they hoped people would forget hard feelings and old arguments between nations. The more peace, the more Europeans might work together. All that combined creativity might lead to new technological and scientific discoveries.