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Negotiations on the 2013 budget of the European Union were suspended because of too pronounced disagreements between the Council of the European Union, bringing together the ministers responsible for the budget, and the European Assembly.

“The 2013 draft budget proposed by the Commission provides for 138 billion euros in expenditure, an increase of 9 billion (+ 6.8 %) compared to 2012. The European Parliament was ready to negotiate with the governments on the condition that the latter agree to provide new contributions in order to fill a hole of 8.9 billion euros missing in the 2012 budget, which has dried up the coffers of several programs, including Erasmus student grants. "

Source: The world

This guide aims to gain a better understanding of the European institutions in question and their role. 


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Consult current affairs articles to familiarize yourself with the subject;
- Use a variety of sources to find definitions;
- Explain complex notions in his words;
- Enrich a concept map to summarize the things learned in the activities;
- Use the Internet effectively to find information. 

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: What exactly is going on?

The first activity is to make sure that the students are all aware of the news.
Here are some sources to consult:

Europe: important budget discussions take place on Tuesday
The European ministers in charge of the Budget will try to agree on Tuesday on the financing of the 2012 and 2013 financial years of the EU, but the game promises to be delicate because no capital is ready to hand over the portfolio and a failure could open a crisis a week before the summit of European leaders on the 2014-2020 multiannual budget. (Deals)
The European Parliament refuses to negotiate the 2013 EU budget as it is
The European Parliament announced Tuesday, November 13 its refusal to negotiate the EU budget for 2013 as it stands, causing the de facto failure of the meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening with the European ministers responsible for the Budget. (The world)

Suggestions: group viewing, reading aloud, personal or small group reading followed by a summary to the rest of the class, etc. 

ACTIVITY 2: Define the terms

During their readings, students will see many terms referring to European institutions. Ask them to define them briefly so that they can be clearly distinguished. Then, as a team, they choose one that they will take the time to study and present to the other students.
- European Union
- European Commission
- European Parliament

Sources of information to consult to answer:
European institutions
- Use Google for other searches ...
After these readings and views, what did the students learn? Start an oral discussion. If possible, continue creating the concept map started above.
What is the dispute in question?
Who are the 12 “net contributors” to the budget?
Who are the “net beneficiaries”?
What is the Erasmus program?
Write on the board any questions from students that remain, or any clarifications that need to be provided. Then challenge students to find these answers on their own, giving them time. 

ACTIVITY 3: The European Union: why?

This activity proposes to retrace the history of the creation of the European Union. Visit the Europa site and its section 12 lessons on Europe (in English) to better understand.
Then ask the students to create a concept map to bring together the main points of information to answer the question: why a European union? 

More about the magazine

Understanding the economic and financial crisis
To better understand the challenges of the economic and financial crisis, the Robert Schuman Foundation (European research center) offers a special page listing articles to explain the subject.

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