The European Union as a big, diverse community struggles with numerous stereotypes and myths. Have you ever wondered if the case of straight bananas really matters? Or have you ever stopped to think if church bells ringing on Sunday break the law? Take a look at ten incredible myths about how the EU works:
#10 Myth: Sweets and toys commercials are banned
Fact: The ban of advertising products for under 12-s had already come into force in Sweden, that wanted to encourage the EU to extend it to the whole community during its presidency in 2001, but didn’t succeed.
#9 Myth: The EU silences Scottish bagpipers for their own good
Fact: The EU didn’t ban national Scottish musicians to play their instruments. However, special detailed regulations preventing harm caused by noise exposure exist, but were created by the UK, not the EU.
#8 Myth: Children are banned from blowing up balloons and using party whistles
Fact: The EU regulations make producers place a special notes on their products to warn parents against letting too young children use this kind of toys without parental advisory, trying to protect kids from swallowing small parts.
#7 Myth: The EU bans church bells ringing
Fact: Some eager vicar was concerned that people living nearby the chapel would mind the noise of church bells and sue him to the European Court of Human Rights. In fact church bells sound doesn’t break the European law.
#6 Myth: Shops cannot sell dozens or half-dozen boxes of eggs
Fact: In 2010 the EU brought new labelling rules saying that the product containers must have also weight of the product written on them, not only number of pieces inside. That means selling eggs in dozens is still allowed.
#5 Myth: Self-employed people’s houses must have fire doors
Fact: Numerous directives protecting workers in the EU don’t apply to self employed persons working from their homes.
#4 Myth: The EU hires aristocrats to make inquiries on wine labelling
Fact: In 1993 an Italian MEP wanted his idea to be used to create an official unit taking care about proper wine labelling. His idea has never been realized.
#3 Myth: The EU officials are not allowed to fly Ryanair
Fact: Ryanair company didn’t enable their customers to book tickets through industry booking systems. This is why all the officials willing to travel with Ryanair would have to book their tickets themselves, which is just less comfortable for them.
#2 Myth: All unwanted love cards received on Valentine’s day are sexual harassment
Fact: There is no regulation or directive defying that this way. Opinion and judgment should be based on common sense. However, the EU regulations on dignity of women and men at work do exist.
#1 Myth: Bananas being sold in the European shops ought to be straight
Fact: The EU indeed takes care about size and quality of imported products to make its international trade clearer. Let’s get this straight- bananas don’t have to be uncurved, their size and quality have to correspond with the EU standards.
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