The corrupt EU that threatens us all

British europhiles want the UK to become part of a single European state but will not discuss the extent to which the European Union is mired in corruption. The problem is endemic in the major institutions of the EU.

One of its greatest failings is the Common Agricultural Policy, which swallows about three fifths of the EU budget. CAP is a totally inefficient waste of resources, which is riddled with corruption. The various frauds include claims for subsidies on non-existent land, one farmer even claiming for land that turned out to be part of the North Sea. When there are surpluses, claims are made for the destruction of crops that never existed.

The accounts are widely known to be primitive and completely open to manipulation. No small business in Britain would get away with accounts prepared to this standard. The European Court of Auditors has stated that 95 per cent of the budget is wide open to fraud.

Whistleblowers like former Commission Chief Accountant Marta Andreasen, and assistant auditor Paul Van Buitenenen, who tried to expose the extent of the corruption, are vilified and hounded out of their jobs.

In 2005, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson were both found to have taken holidays on cruise ships owned by major bankers and industrialists who stood to gain from Commission decisions. The Commission declared themselves cleared of any wrongdoing.

In 1999, the entire European Commission, led by Jacques Santer, had to resign after a Committee of Independent experts reported evidence of administrative failure, financial irregularities and nepotism. It found that millions of pounds worth of funds from the humanitarian aid office had disappeared, while no accounts were available for some 17 billion pounds.

Members of the European Parliament are positively encouraged to claim expenses in excess of those they have incurred, despite vast salaries and lavish attendance allowances for taking part in what is no more than a sham body, providing a fig-leaf for the lack of true democracy in the EU

This corruption is endemic

The reaction of the European elites to all these scandals reveals that it is an entrenched part of a culture and cannot be eradicated. Commission officials reacting to their exposure in 1999 are reported to have stated that there had been an Anglo-Saxon crusade against the Southern culture of state administration, while former Commissioner Cresson, who gave EU contracts to her dentist, declared that she was guilty of no behaviour that is not standard in French administrative culture.

Every venal politician and corrupt official in the EU uses the argument that the ends justifies the means i.e. building a European superstate, in order to continue milking the system and enriching themselves at our expense.

For more than ten years, the European Court of Auditors has refused to approve the accounts, warning that they are riddled with fraud.

Far from the European Parliament acting as watchdog on the civil servants of the EU, each year it tamely nods through the accounts, failing to take any action at all.

This transnational elite is transforming itself into an increasingly self-interested and detached political class. This is leading to an increasing concentration of power in institutions that are unelected, unaccountable and deeply corrupt.

The growth of this new class is not a unique event in history. It always takes place in states where democratic control is absent, as has been seen in the Nazi and Soviet dictatorships of the twentieth century.

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this process is that it is precisely what was intended by the original architects of the European Union, for the preservation of democratic self government was always of little significance beside the goal of building Europe. That the Europe being constructed is corrupt, inefficient and destructive of the democratic rights of its peoples, is irrelevant to those who see themselves as its new masters.

(November 2005)