EUROPEAN Union spent €664m (£536m) directly on publicity and communications in 2014, according to a new research paper from eurosceptic group Business for Britain.
The spending came from budgets with a “primary purpose” of “promoting the EU and the political priorities of the union”, claimed a report published yesterday by the group.
According to the report, the EU committed €3.9bn more broadly to budgets that contained provisions for such selfpromotion. In 2008, €2.4bn was available to the EU for the same purpose.
Business for Britain chief executive Matthew Elliott said: “With UK taxpayers contributing more and more to the EU budget, it is staggering that Brussels is throwing away our hard-earned money on propaganda promoting the European project.”
In a rare instance of agreement, a spokesperson for the opposing, pro-European group Business for New Europe welcomed the Business for Britain report.
Lucy Thomas, campaign director at Business for New Europe, told City A.M.: “Wanting Britain to remain in Europe doesn’t mean you can’t recognise there are things that the EU institutions get very wrong.”
“Here is an example of just that and why it is so important for Britain to push for reform to cut down on waste,” Thomas added.