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EC Overview

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  • About the European Commission – The EU in the United Kingdom

The European Commission has offices, called Representations, in all the Member States of the European Union. The UK Representation is in London; there are also Offices in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Their chief duties are:

Speaking for the Commission as its voice in the UK. This includes providing background briefings for the media as well as on-the-record comment on issues relevant to the Commission.

Reporting back to the Commission in Brussels on political, economic and social developments in the UK.

Providing information about the European Union across the UK through recognised outlets such as public libraries, business advice centres and education services.

  • About the European Union

The UK is a net contributor to the EU budget. Below is a summary of how the EU helps UK citizens. Visit their website for further information.

Moving around Europe freely and safely

As a UK citizen you and your family members can live and work in any other member state.Regulations put into place by the EU make it easier and safer for you to travel within the EU, work abroad and even move to another member state. As a UK citizen you have the right to emergency healthcare when visiting other EU countries. The EU has made air travel safer by blacklisting potentially dangerous airlines, as well as drawing up a charter of air passengers’ rights. It’s made studying abroad possible for thousands of students.

Giving UK consumers a fair deal

The single market is not just about ensuring the public can travel hassle-free. It’s also about generating wealth and ensuring the customer comes first. This can range from protecting your consumer rights whilst shopping within member states to preventing market stitch-ups to ensure UK consumers do not pay more for goods than people do on the continent. The EU has introduced ceilings for roaming charges for calls, texts and data when travelling in other member states so that staying in touch with people back home doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Making our food and environment safer

The EU is committed to fighting climate change and the depletion of our environments through cutting greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging recycling and funding sustainable energy projects across Europe.

Fighting crime and policing borders

The EU has a serious role to play in protecting Britons, and citizens of all EU member states, from organised crime. The EU is also instrumental in protecting Britain from illegal immigration. Since 2005, the European external borders agency, FRONTEX, has been coordinating efforts between all EU member states on the management of external borders. Illegal activities such as counterfeiting and piracy account for a loss to British businesses of approximately 4 billion Pounds each year and reduce annual EU GDP by more than 5 billion Pounds. The EU is spearheading the fight against these kinds of unlawful activity with tough new measures to stop organised criminal gangs and terrorist groups from laundering money and trading in counterfeit goods and notes within EU member states.

Content for this page was derived from the EC and EU website text.