European Parliament to increase spending on promoting itself
The European Parliament is to increase sharply its spending on promoting itself next year, including a first £9.4 million instalment for a controversial new museum of Europe.
In line for a dramatic increase in cash from MEPs’ £1.4 billion budget are a series of projects and other programmes designed to raise the profile of the institution and its internal political groupings, even as EU member states face an unprecedented period of fiscal austerity.
The "House of European History", the first phase of which will open next year, is intended to celebrate the EU’s "historical memory" and to "promote awareness of European identity".
The ’House of European History’ will be located at the Parc Léopold in Brussels
But the original plan for the museum, whose eventual cost will be £82 million, to begin with early Greek civilisation were dropped because squabbling MEPs disagreed on every significant historical event of the last 200 years, including key aspects of the Second World War. Instead it will begin with an EU "year zero" of 1946.
Despite irritation among the governments of many member states, national governments including Britain are prevented by a long-standing "gentlemen’s agreement" from challenging spending by MEPs – which makes up on fifth of total EU spending.
The non-interference pact means MEPs are free to spend their £1.4 billion budget next year – which will itself rise by £33 million, or two per cent – without any oversight or external control.
The European assembly defends the spending increases. "Increases in seminars or audio-visual are linked to the duty of the institution to allow media and citizens to be fully informed about its political activity and to control it. Transparency cannot be only a nice word," said a spokesman.
But David Cameron’s refusal to take on MEPs has angered Conservative backbenchers in Westminster who last month rebelled to inflict a serious defeat on the government over EU budget increases.
"Gentlemen do not make agreements to spend other people’s money without their consent. This is not the European Parliament’s money. Because millions of pounds more are to be frittered away on euro propaganda, there will next year be less money for local services or tax cuts in Britain," said Douglas Carswell, the Tory MP for Clacton.
MEPs last week hijacked EU budget negotiations by walking out of talks after national governments refused to agree to spending increase of £13.8 billion, including the increases in their own budget.
Read the full article at: telegraph.co.uk
Latest News from our Front Page
Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk.
An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated.
The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call.
The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime.
It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise.
"It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen.
Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance Oâ€™Sullivan, wants to punish people who donâ€™t get vaccinated.
The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports:
â€œA leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australiaâ€™s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology.
For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon Universityâ€™s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet.
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies.
Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
|More News » |