Brussels, 12 October 2011 – While nearly all national governments have implemented austerity measures to reduce debt and promote growth, the European Parliament is asking to increase its own budget. A study published today by New Direction – The Foundation for European Reform demonstrates that the parliament’s budget can be substantially decreased.
The study ‘Ending Excess – Cutting the European Parliament’s costs’ proposes concrete cuts that would reduce the EP budget by some € 400 million per year or approximately 24%. Funds saved should be returned to the exchequers of EU net contributor states.
Launching the study, the president of New Direction Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, MBE commented: “Proposed costs would save nearly half a billion Euros without damaging core functions of the institution.”
According to Van Orden the driving force in cost increases has been the massive inflation of the Parliament’s bureaucracy. Since the enlargement in 2004 the number of staff has grown from 3,946 to 6,245. There are only 4 more MEPs now then in 2004 (increase from 732 to 736). Over 1,000 Parliament officials also disproportionately earn more than the MEPs. By comparison, just 83 staff members of the British House of Commons were paid more than Members of the Parliament.
“If the European Parliament does not cut excess swiftly, it will lose all confidence of voters who have to cut basic needs,”said the vice-president of New Direction Derk Jan Eppink MEP.
The study is available here.
Read more here.