The cost of funding European Union committees and agencies has more than tripled since 2005 and is on course to reach more than £2 billion next year, new research shows.
Compiled by Open Europe, the figures come as David Cameron prepares to go to Brussels this week to fight off plans to increase the overall budget of the EU by six per cent.
The Prime Minister has made clear that he considers that it is unacceptable for British taxpayers to pay more to Europe at a time when widespread spending cuts are being imposed at home.
As well as an increase in overall spending, the European Commission has proposed introducing an eight per cent rise in the 2011 budget for EU agencies and committees.
It would be used to open five new agencies, as well as boosting the budgets for 47 existing organisations, which together employ nearly 10,000 people.
Siân Herbert, of Open Europe, said: “The huge increase in the cost of EU agencies stands in stark contrast to the deep cuts facing the public sector in member states. It’s rather unbelievable that the EU remains immune from the austerity measures sweeping the rest of Europe.”
Among the agencies which Open Europe suggests closing are the Economic and Social Committee, which has a proposed 2011 budget of £124 million, the Committee of the Regions, with a proposed budget of £81 million next year.
By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent
Published: 4:19PM BST 24 Oct 2010
Source: The Telegraph