14th May 2012


Last week Conservative MEPs were partially successful in their attempts to hold the European Commission to account for the way in which they spend our money.


To counter the misuse of funds, a Conservative-led initiative was approved by the Parliament calling for the creation of a dedicated Commissioner for Budgetary Control to take charge how taxpayers’ money is spent. This would increase accountability and help prevent the misuse of our money.


I am delighted to report that two key Conservative amendments were also approved, one calling for an end to the expense of holding Parliamentary sittings in two separate cities and one for the EP specifically to abandon Strasbourg completely.


Sadly, not all of our amendments were so successful. Tory MEPs argued for amendments criticising burdensome projects. These included the escalating cost of frivolous annual awards such as the LUX film prize and the Journalism prize. The Parliament's ever increasing bureau in Washington DC and the propaganda that is the European House of History are also examples of waste


Despite these setbacks, there appears to be a growing consensus in the European Parliament that the colossal waste of money spent on the Strasbourg Circus cannot continue unchecked.  The Commission needs to get a grip of the EU’s accounts or face a growing backlash. Astonishingly, it has taken them 17 years to learn this lesson.

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