What you might need to know

This video discusses the concept of a Union. When we discuss the European Union, we often talk about its parts rather than the Union as such. So we hope to give you a few ideas to discuss what a Union is and make it fun for the children: drawing a parallel with a club and making a smoothie.

First, let’s just recap what the EU is:

  • The European Union is an economic and political project. It was created to protect peace among countries, mainly France and Germany, that had been at the heart of two world wars in less than 50 years.
  • The European Union is made up of large but also many small countries. Countries largely try to find a consensus when they make decisions on how to improve the quality of the air we breathe or the food we eat.
  • Therefore it can be very difficult to make decisions. In 1951, it was easier for six countries to agree.
    Nowadays with 27, it is much more difficult.
  • Majority decisions can also be made. The issue is then that some countries might have to implement a decision that they did not vote for. This is what democracy is about: majority/minority.

In this lesson, we get the children to think about what it means to be part of a club. They are usually part of clubs themselves so they have lots to say about the good and the bad things about being in a club. We draw parallels with Ireland belonging to the EU club.

To engage the children in understanding what a Union is versus an aggregation of individual countries, we get them to make a smoothie. Each fruit represents a country. They’re all delicious by themselves but when they come together, they make something new, the EU!

You can think that a smoothie is the perfect representation for an EU crushing national identities and sovereignties. But actually, it really highlights how interwoven countries in the club are. The EU can not be compared to a fruit salad as Brexit has shown. Otherwise, if the UK was grapes , you’d pick the grapes out very easily.

The EU is a smoothie where you can still see individual countries (the smoothie is blue because of the blueberries, it’s liquid because of the milk, the banana can be tasted very strongly) but to take a fruit out, you will need some chemistry process of disaggregation, like Brexit has showed!

Enjoy the smoothie