EU costs same as Netflix says Rem Koolhaas in pro-EU film

EU costs same as Netflix say Rem Koolhaas and Stephan Petermann in pro-EU film

Architects Rem Koolhaas and Stephan Petermann have produced a film explaining why, at the same price as a Netflix subscription, EU membership offers value for money to UK citizens.

Released by the Guardian to coincide with European elections this week, the four-minute film sets out the benefits of being part of the European Union.

The video starts by comparing the price of EU membership with a Netflix movie subscription, which costs £7.99 in the UK or €11.99 in Europe.

It then goes on to list dozens of initiatives and projects that the EU spends its money on, from improving 15,000 miles of roads, railways and canals, to protecting 1,322 species of animals and plants.

Rem Koolhaas EU video
The four-minute film sets out the benefits of being part of the EU

It also points out the EU's role in funding critical medical research and in working towards world peace.

"We wanted to make sure people voted in the forthcoming European elections, especially young people," explained Koolhaas, 74, in an editorial released to accompany the film.

"In the current media landscape I think that there is a real shortage of concise, understandable and appealingly designed information."

Rem Koolhaas EU video
It lists dozens of initiatives and projects that the EU spends its money on

The OMA founder continued: "There is also a paradox in that most of the votes for the European parliament are based on national and local issues, rather than ones the European parliament can play an important role in."

"There's been a huge wave of simplifications and slogans and an absence of serious argument. Figures such as Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson have benefited from that."

Rem Koolhaas EU video
The video points to the EU's role in protecting the environment

The pro-EU film sets out nine topics and explains what the EU is doing in all of them. These topics are: power, infrastructure, nature, food, science, anti-cartel, rights, value for money and peace.

Other benefits it lists include human rights protected by the EU, including the right to access data held about you by big organisations. It also points out that the EU has fined big companies over £18 trillion for manipulating the prices of consumer goods.

Rem Koolhaas EU video
It also highlights the EU's role in funding critical medical research

"Most national politicians have not had the courage to report the extent to which Europe has played a positive role for the country," said Koolhaas.

"Many have used the EU as a scapegoat for decisions they have been part of as members of the European leadership. They assumed that Europe didn't need an eloquent defence. What's interesting now is that many leaders, such as the Dutch prime minister, are using bolder language to emphasise how important Europe is to the national interest."

"We've been missing that for almost 25 years," he added.

Rem Koolhaas EU video
It states that the EU has fined big companies over £18 trillion

Koolhaas has long been a supporter of the European Union.

The Dutch architect urged the country not to vote for Brexit back in 2016. He has even designed a flag, The Image of Europe, to represent all the countries of the continent united.

In Fear and Love, the opening exhibition at the Design Museum in London back in 2016, OMA presented a Pan-European Living Room, celebrating the unity of the 28 member countries.

Rem Koolhaas EU video
The film features The Image of Europe, a flag designed by Koolhaas in 2001

Koolhaas has been working together with architect and researcher Petermann on the EU Reflection Group, which describes itself as a "wise men council of prominent Europeans advising on the future of the EU".

"I am determined not to talk about Europe in terms of crisis or anxiety," said Koolhaas. "I hope that the forces that allow Europe to continue developing constructively can coalesce and collaborate."

The UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum on the 23 June 2016. The UK's withdrawal from the EU was initial planned to take place on the 29 March 2019, however, as the terms of the future relationship could not be agreed this date has been extended to 31 October 2019.