European Parliament’s bureaucrats just don’t get the message
At a time of major cuts to public spending across Europe, the European Parliament’s senior decision making body (the European Parliament Bureau) has proposed to increase its 2012 operating budget to £1.492 billion. There are plans to hire new staff and to spend millions of pounds on the Parliament’s already substantial property portfolio.
Conservative MEP Geoffrey Van Orden has led calls on behalf of the European Conservatives & Reformists Group for the Parliament's bureaucracy to set its house in order.
"In times of economic stringency, all of the EU's institutions should be redoubling their efforts to reduce costs and eliminate waste. The Parliament's over-inflated bureaucracy needs to take a lead in this."
"There should be year on year efficiency savings and a reduction in the 6,000 staff employed by the Parliament. Instead, numbers keep growing. I have just heard that the parliament plans to take on another 112 staff next year, as well as to reward 1/6th of all current staff with a promotion and corresponding pay increase.
"Parliament has so much property that it will soon be hiring an additional 17 officials just to manage its ever expanding portfolio. £34 million is to be spent on renovating a building in Luxembourg used only by officials.
"A further example of wasteful excess is the intention to create a European Parliament-backed 'House of European History' at a cost of nearly £12 million. This is no more than an Orwellian construction to rewrite history and sell the EU project at taxpayers' expense. In 2012, Parliament also intends to spend some £6 million on 'raising public awareness of European issues in the run-up to the 2014 elections' - I thought it was up to politicians to raise awareness of issues, not officials.
"Instead of finding ways of spending more money the Parliament should set an example and aim a 10% reduction in its budget. Along with Conservative colleagues , I shall continue to demand that the Parliament's bureaucracy wakes up to reality."