New Research: EU diplomats spend £3.4 billion promoting 'a country called Europe'
* EU foreign service now costs £3.4 billion a year
* The property portfolio of EU embassies is worth £55 million
* EU ambassadors earn up to £244,000 a year
* Former ambassador to Washington DC expresses concern at report's findings
"A new study by the TaxPayers' Alliance reveals the huge size, scope and cost of the EU's own diplomatic service, which has quietly grown to effectively challenge the British Foreign Office around the globe. The report, which includes a foreword by Sir Antony Acland KG, GCMG, GCVO, former UK ambassador to the USA between 1986 and 1991, exposes the way in which the European Union's External Relations programme has used huge quantities of British taxpayers' money to progressively usurp the nation's global standing." Download full report: [PDF]
Hat-tip: Centre Right on Conservative Home.
* Brussels has developed an identity on the world stage in its own right. The EU now has a budget of €3.9 billion (£3.4 billion) a year to be spent on its international affairs programme, called the External Relations programme. This is distinct from its international development budget.
* It spends another €28 million (£25 million) (excluding actual civil service wages) on having a Common Foreign and Security Policy supremo.
* EU embassies already exist in name; their property portfolio outside of the EU comes to €63 million (£55 million)
* Staff enjoy considerable remuneration. Already-generous wages can include additional weighting, up to 45% above those paid to their colleagues back in Brussels. This would work out pre-tax as up to €278,000 (£244,000) annually..
* On top of their salaries, EU diplomats enjoy such perks as adoption grants, expat allowances, entertainment allowances and own-car grants if they don’t get a chauffeur.