When considering the words that should be used to describe the European Union, it is difficult not to automatically consider the words that most would expect to hear. When following this ideal, the first thought is thinking about what the intention of the formation of the European Union was. However, this would be simplistic and would not work as it would not offer a true picture, resulting in a list of positives and platitudes when, in fact, perfection is rare.

I cannot cite any examples to justify the words ‘peace’ or ‘unity’ being used to describe the European Union. Not only does the European Union seem to suffer much infighting between its members that precludes the application of the words, but many of the member countries are also quite prepared to go to war.

I believe that matters concerned with peace and unity are more the focus of other organisations, such as the United Nations. The main objective of the European Union is to look after its own interests and increase its presence and power in the world, even if this is detrimental to others. It is not possible for potentially negative effects to sit comfortably alongside actions that lead to peace and unity.

‘Bureaucracy’ and ‘rights’ can better be associated with the European Union, which relates on a more factual basis than other terms. The idea of whether peace and unity, for example, can describe the European Union is a matter of opinion. Bureaucracy and rights are a given as they both exist, whether in a positive or negative context. There are many bodies that have resulted from the formation of the European Union, which has caused bureaucracy whether it is wanted or not.

Whether citizens of the member countries consider their rights to have been extended or hindered, there is still scope to discuss rights within any debate about the European Union.

Many could argue that ‘opportunity’ can be used to describe the European Union; whether in respect of increased trade, travel or ability to work in other European countries.

To me, ‘austerity’ can be used to describe the European Union, despite this not being the intention. Besides this, it describes some member countries better than others, but to such as extent that it cannot be excluded.