European Union splashes €2.6bn on quangos, claims new report

Julian Harris
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EUROPEAN Union quangos have seen their budgets soar by a third in the last two years, according to figures released yesterday.

Despite preaching austerity to its member states, Brussels’ own spending on quangos now totals €2.64bn (£2.17bn) – 33.2 per cent higher than in 2010.

There are now 52 EU-funded quasi-autonomous agencies, twice as many as there were in 2004, the Open Europe think-tank said.

Open Europe, which campaigns for reform of the EU, said that while some agencies perform valuable services, others merely duplicate work or suggest wasted billions in taxpayer funds.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) paid €250,000 for a consultant to assess its own media coverage, the report said. The EEA also spent €300,000 having plants attached to walls outside its Copenhagen headquarters.

“Ironically, many of these bodies would never have survived the type of austerity programmes that the EU is now drawing up for member states,” said Open Europe’s Pawel Swidlicki.