We are celebrating peace and unity in Europe
On the Europe Day we celebrate peace and unity in Europe. 9 May was selected for the Europe Day as it was on this day in 1950 that Robert Schuman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France at the time, presented the Schuman Declaration, named after him. This Declaration founded the European Coal and Steel Community and following the same model the European Economic Community, a predecessor of the EU, was established in 1958. EU as a global superpower
In the beginning of the European integration, its main purpose was guaranteeing lasting peace in Europe. Today the significance of the EU is also in matching the power and influence of the major global superpowers. In 2017, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, the EU economy was the second largest in the world behind China’s based on GDP, while the EU was also the world’s largest single donor of humanitarian aid. The EU is an important actor also in the area of foreign trade. According to Eurostat data, the combined export of the EU in 2017 accounted for 15.8% of global exports, second only to China accounting for 16.9% of global exports. The EU is second globally also in terms of imports at 15.1% of global imports behind the USA with 17.3%.In 2018 GDP grew in all Member States
According to Eurostat data, the EU as a whole recorded real GDP growth of 2.0% in 2018. Last year GDP growth persisted in all Member States; it was the lowest in Italy at 0.9% and the highest in Ireland with 6.7%. Real GDP growth of Slovenia with 4.5% was above the EU average (2.0%), yet 0.4 of a percentage point lower than in 2017.
The unemployment rate at the EU level was the lowest in the last 15 years in the third quarter of 2018 when 6.5% of active population aged 15–74 years was unemployed. In Slovenia the unemployment rate was at its lowest in the fourth quarter of 2018; with 4.3% it came close to the lowest point from before the financial crisis, that of the second and third quarters of 2008 at 4.1%.
Migration in the EU
In 2017 more people immigrated to the EU than emigrated from it; net migration per 1,000 population for EU-28 was 2.3. Negative net migration was recorded in six Member States: Lithuania, Croatia, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria and France. Among individuals that immigrated to the EU Member States in 2017 23% were citizens of the country they immigrated to. 30% of the immigrants were citizens of other EU Member States, and 46% were citizens of third countries.
In 2017, 3,288 Slovenian citizens immigrated to Slovenia, along with 3,315 citizens of other EU Member States, while most immigrants, 12,205, were citizens of third countries. The latter thereby accounted for 65% of immigration to Slovenia in 2017, this being the second highest percentage of immigration from non-EU countries in the EU behind Italy (70%). Net migration per 1,000 population for Slovenia was positive at 0.6.Percentage of households with internet access in Slovenia below the EU average
In 2018, 89% of households in the EU with at least one person aged 16–74 had access to the internet from home. In Slovenia 87% of household had internet access. Almost all households in the Netherlands (98%) had internet access, while the percentage was the lowest in Bulgaria (72%). The most common reason for not having internet access in the household in the EU was that it was not needed (46%).
15 years since the eastern enlargement and of Slovenian membership in the EU
The EU reached its current size through a process of several enlargements. The biggest one was the eastern enlargement of May 2004, when ten new Member States joined the union, including Slovenia. How did 15 years of membership affect the differences between the Member States? Based on the eastern enlargement we can divide the Member States into old (also referred to as EU15) and new members. The latter group can sometimes include Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, which joined the union later and are therefore excluded from this analysis, as the main purpose is a comparison after 15 years of membership.Slovenia’s GDP per capita has in 15 years exceeded GDP per capita of two old Member States and laged behind that of one additional new Member State
Slovenia’s GDP per capita at current prices in 2003 amounted to EUR 13,200; it was lower than any of the old members, but higher than all new members except Cyprus. In 2018, our GDP per capita was EUR 22,200, higher than in two old member states (Greece and Portugal), while in the new members group we now lag behind Cyprus and Malta.
Increased trade in goods
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One of the main benefits of the EU membership is decreased costs and technical limitations in foreign trade, so exports of all new Member States grew between 2003 and 2018 on average by 335%, while their imports grew by 209% on average. The lowest growth at both exports (28%) and imports (88%) was recorded in Malta. The highest growth at exports was recorded in Cyprus (894%) and at imports in Slovakia (300%).
Slovenia’s exports grew by 232% in the same period, and imports by 192%. Exports to the new members grew faster (by 520%) than exports to the old members (by 188%) between 2003 and 2018. Nominally exports to Germany increased the most (by EUR 4.3 billion), and in percentage exports to Malta (by 1,327%), from EUR 1.2 million to EUR 17.4 million per year.
In 2018 the EU Member States on average exported 66.1% of total exports to other Member States and imported 68.4% of total imports from them. Slovenia exported 76.2% of total exports and imported 67.2% of total imports to and from other EU Member States.