Coursera – Understanding Europe

EuropeQuite an eye-opening class.

One of the most important concepts from my perspective is the misunderstanding of EU by the world (and Europeans themselves in many cases), and the fact that not everything is perfect in the EU’s organization and not all questions has been answered…  as the EU is the work in progress.


As the top markets of the world, EU can influence economic entities outside of its territory.



The class explains the “European myths” that are simply incorrect.

  • Over-regulation.  The example is a regulation of specific shape of bananas.  The explanation is very reasonable – EU regulates bananas to allow the product to be traded easily within EU, what was not possible before regulations.
  • EU is bureaucracy-heavy.  In reality, EU has just half of the number of people than governing organizations of Paris have.
  • EU is a very expensive organization.  In reality, EU government expenditure is 1% of EU GDP, while government expenditure of the member state is about 45% of its GDP

One of the solutions to explain EU better to everybody in the world… is to seriously consider marketing EU 🙂

A curious point – several concepts in the class designed primarily for Europeans were illustrated on the example of US.


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