Thursday, December 06, 2007

EU funding lobby groups

I first became aware of the story of the EU funding lobby groups so that they could then lobby it to implement the policies the EU wanted from Tim Worstall. It is quite nerdy so I assumed would pass the world by as these EU stories often do. However as Tim points out in this post the beeb are picking up the story.

Mr Eugenides has a great reference to the practice here, with his usual incise commentry, which has been picked up by the Economist's Brussels blog.

In short, the EU wants us all to be able to use any EU country's High Commissions and Embassies when travelling outside the EU. Member countries have objected for a number of technical reasons. Not to be deterred, the EU funded some of its pet lobby groups to lobby it saying what a great idea. Based on this the EU is now looking to implement the plan.

As the Economist blog concludes:

In other words, we are in the grand tradition of the EU funding bodies that then lobby the EU to overrule the objections of mere member states and impose grand schemes on them (which must be paid for by those nations). Makes you proud.

If you haven't read the beeb story yet you probably won't be surprised to learn that the EU doesn't know its arse from its elbow:

Siim Kallas, a vice president of the Commission in charge of the EU's anti-fraud operations, told Radio 4's The Investigation he had been assured this funding was not taking place.

He said: "The European Commission is not financing anybody to lobby ourselves - nobody is supported just for being there."

But the EC Environment Directorate has said it does give money to environmental groups to lobby.

As I will never tire of pointing out: the EU's defining principle of Ever Closer Union means that EU Bureaucrats feel they can ride roughshod over the rest of us, and the democratic process, with impunity.

As DK would say at this point: can we leave now?

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