UK

European Commission launches website for Britons

Map of UK
Image caption The commission aims to provide practical information

The European Commission is making a fresh effort to persuade Britons they benefit from EU membership, with the launch of a new website.

The website, called The EU - What's In It For Me?, promises a "no-nonsense guide to what the EU delivers".

It has sections on travelling and working in Europe, the environment, fighting crime and consumer protection.

Only 36% of Britons polled by Eurobarometer said the UK had benefited from membership - the lowest in the EU.

The website also highlights projects that the EU has helped to fund in each region of the country, and aims to dispel what it describes as myths and "urban legends".

Despite the fact the UK is viewed as one of the most eurosceptical of the 27 member states, more than 80% of Britons who took part in a Gallup poll for the European Commission last year said they knew little or nothing about the EU.

'Filling a gap'

About half of the respondents (47%) said they would be interested in receiving more information.

The European Commission has, for some years, published a pamphlet giving its account of how the European Union influences daily life in the UK, and the new website is designed to do the same job online.

"We are really trying to keep things very practical," said Antonia Mochan, head of media at the European Commission's UK office.

"If someone wants information about the EU health insurance card, for example, they can come and find it. There is a video explaining how it works," she added.

"Every single county council website can be accessed through the UK's Directgov website, but there is no link to European information. To fill that gap, we came up with this. People nowadays expect to be able to get this information online."

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