"Following on from the corruption mentioned in my last post, and the political smoke and mirrors involved, there are two EU bodies operating under the radar whose budgets have been increasing in an unchallenged way: the Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
As taxpayers, and therefore the paymasters of these organisations that make decisions that govern your life, you have a right to know who they are and what they get up to, although I guarantee that the vast majority of Britons have never even heard of them.
The CoR is made up of local and county councillors as mentioned before, and the EESC is made up of technocrats, businessmen and trade union reps, all appointed, none elected to these positions.
Over the last eight years, the budgets of the EESC and CoR have increased by some 50 percent, with over half of the annual budgets devoted to their members’ expenses, travel costs and staff salaries and pensions, collectively amounting to €220 million of your hard earned taxes.
There are around 50 officials at each committee with a minimum salary of €123.890 and six officials at each committee earning over €180,000 – more than the Dutch or UK prime minister.
The main mandate of both committees is to "engage participation" from citizens. But there are many indications that neither committee is successful in this, especially as most citizens have never heard of them or even have a clue as to who they are.
The EESC has 344 Members who are appointed for a term of five years. The current mandate runs from October 2010 till September 2015, and the Members elect the Committee’s Presidency each time for a period of 2,5 years. The Lisbon Treaty permits the number of Members to grow up to a ceiling of 350 Members with the next EU enlargements.
The Committee’s Members are lead by the President. The President is assisted in his tasks by two Vice-Presidents, one in charge of communication and the other one of the budget. The President and the Vice-Presidents form the EESC presidency.
You may access the full list of EESC Members here and search for Members by name or country, you will find the full list of CoR UK members in the previous post.
Hundreds of self important people all pontificating and generating ‘opinions’ on how you should run your lives, living the life, claiming the expenses, wining and dining ALL at your expense, and what an expense with the average ‘opinion’ coming out at an average cost of €660,000, while no information is made available regarding how these opinions influenced legislation, if at all.
You pay, they play.
But then, these are just 2 of the 31 EU Agencies that were analysed by the European Court of Auditors. Their report (produced in Nov11) was sent to the EU Parliament on Wednesday (15th Feb) and it does not make good reading.
Eleven out of the 22 surveyed could not properly account for half the expenses they filed in 2010, the auditors found.
All 31 agencies except two are subject to the European Parliament (EP) budgetary control. MEPs in 2010 already refused to sign off the accounts of a police training agency which used EU funds to purchase furniture, cars and mobile phones for personal use.
You pay, they play.
One of the agencies not under the scrutiny of MEPs is the Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market (Ohim) which is self-financing because it cashes in on the creation of EU trademarks. "Nearly 50 percent of the total amount of cash [of EU agencies] is held by Ohim. Considerable annual surpluses have been recorded by the agency over successive years, leading to a surplus, in 2010, of €495 million," the report notes.
Nice little earner. You pay, They Play.
Pic: EESC members.
These people are elected by no-one, these people add nothing, these people make nothing, these people contribute nothing, yet they expect you to pay, whilst they spend millions of your taxes in talking shops, on hotels, bars, restaurants and travel. Across the EU there are now in excess of a million people who do nothing but spend your money whilst contributing nothing to your life except grief, hardship, rules, regulations and excessive taxation.
We have long said that the EU is nothing more than a corporate mafia, forcing your taxes, local and national ever higher whilst their budgets and playtime keep going up."
This post of IPJ's neatly links into this post of mine.