This year for Lithuania is a celebration year.
15 years ago, on the 1st of May in Athens Lithuania signed the accession treaty and became a member of the European Union alongside with 9 other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. However, it is quietly said, that Lithuania really had to join the EU later. But due to the geopolitical situation, Lithuania was formally invited to join the EU in December 2002, alongside Latvia and Estonia. However, this article is not about the politics. On the occasion of the 15th jubilee, we thought that it would be interesting to find out some curious and funny facts about the EU. Thus, here are 10 little-known facts:
The EU restricts the amount of fish that can be caught. Each country is given a quota they must follow, but fishermen aren’t too pleased about it. Because of the restrictions, they sometimes have to throw their catch back into the water, and a lot of fish is already dead. Critics also suggest that the lower quota of fish leads to higher pricing and fewer fishing fleets.
Every year, the European Union imports more than 6.000 tons of frog legs from Asian countries.
The European Union has won the Nobel Peace Prize. It was awarded to the EU in 2012 based on its contributions towards peace and reconciliation.
The European Union has banned some 1.100 different chemicals used in cosmetics, while the United States banned only 10.
Finally, we recommend you to watch 5 movies, which the EU is the most proud of. These moves have been awarded the prestigious LUX award by the European Parliament:
- Toni Erdmann (2016);
- Mustang (2015);
- Ida (2013);
- Le silence de Lorna (2008);
- Auf der anderen Seite (2017).
The EU uses the Euro as the currency of 19 Eurozone countries (Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland and Germany). However, (officially or unofficially) it is used in other countries and territories of the World as well. The EU has signed special agreements with Monaco, the Vatican City State and San Marino on the use of the Euro as a legal currency. They have the right to use euro coins with their national banknotes, but cannot use euro banknotes.
This continues the tradition of former agreements between France and Monaco, Italy and San Marino, Italy and the Vatican City State, which allowed Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City State to use French Franc and Italian Lira respectively as their currency. In Andorra, the Euro replaced the Spanish Peseta and the French Franc, which previously circulated in this dukedom, although the agreement between that country and the EU has not yet been signed. In addition, the Euro is used as a payment instrument in Montenegro. Here the Euro changed the German mark, which was previously used as a local de facto currency. Member States` overseas territories are also associated with or participating in the Eurozone. So, the Euro is also in circulation in the Azores, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, Martinique, Reunion, Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
The centuries after the fall of Rome are often cited as the nascent beginnings of the European Union, as many European states saw themselves as successors of the Roman Empire (for example, the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire). These continual attempts for unification of various states are the seeds from which the European Union was developed.
Great Britain was denied entry to the EU twice before finally being admitted. French President, Charles de Gaulle, said “non” in both 1963 and 1967. It was only after his death that Britain was able to join in 1973. Ireland and Denmark also joined that year.
The Brexit is not the first time a country decided to leave the Union. In 1979, a referendum was held in Greenland, with the majority in favor of leaving. Greenland officially left the European Communities in 1985, six whole years after the referendum. Greenland holds a special status within Denmark.
In 1995 the EU set out guidelines for bananas and cucumbers. This is true! Producers of these two goods were told that they needed to get rid of bananas that were too curvy, and cucumbers that weren’t straight enough. It took 13 years for this to be abolished.