Open Europe understates the true numbers involved in EU legislation.

Today we learn from Open Europe of the 175,000 people involved in forming and enforcing EU legislation – far more than the EU normally puts out in its propoganda. The BBC did its best to discredit this low figure on the Today programme by refusing to understand how it was arrived at and trying to sugest wrongly it includes all the private sector lobbyists and business people who have to waste their time responding. BBC Journalists should try reading the document and not have to spend the whole interview establishing simple facts. They should have debated the wisdom and suitability of so many people involved in all this rule making.

The facts are that 175,000 people are wholly or partially empoyed on EU bodies involved in developing and enforcing EU rules. We pay as taxpayers for their salaries and expenses. To give the full picture of the costs of this huge bureaucracy we should add to that

a) The costs of all the officials in Member States governments working in their own countries on forming positons, negotiaiting and enforcing – that would be a mutliple of the 175,000 and is yet another direct cost to the taxpayer

b) the costs on all the businesses who then have to respond to and conform with the rules – a further multiple of the 175,000 which we pay for in the prices of goods and services

c) the private sectors costs of lobbyists, lawyers, consultants to try to see off inappropriate rules and to respond to the ones that are passed.


  1. Johnny Norfolk
    August 11, 2008

    Just what you would expect from the BBC. The have broken the charter when you can see the are not impartial.

    They are,

    Pro UN
    Anti Tory
    Pro Labour
    Anti big business
    Anti Royal Family
    Pro EU
    Anti English
    Anti US republican

    The list goes on and we should not be able to detect their likes and dislikes if the were keepimg to their charter.

    The BBC is part of this countries problem.

  2. Iain
    August 11, 2008

    The most obvious lie from the EU fanatics when they state that the EU has less staff than Birmingham council is that they choose to conveniently forget that the EU co-opts much of our civil service to implement its laws and diktats.

  3. David Eyles
    August 11, 2008

    Every time I fill in a VAT form, I am acting as an (unpaid) employee of the state. As both you and Iain says, the number of people whose jobs are actually dependent upon the EU are seriously understated in this figure. I assume the figure quoted was for the UK only, but even so, I reckon you could multiply this by about 20 to get closer to the real magnitude.

  4. Neil Craig
    August 11, 2008

    Most studies find that less regulated countries out perform more regulated ones (unsurprising) & that regulations cost the people 20 times more than they cost the government (surprising).

    Habits of Highly Effective Countries p58
    Hence the EU is the slowest growing region of the world. The problem with your proposal John is that I believe there is a zero chance of it being adopted. We have been promised reform of the EU since we joined & it has more bureaucracy now than then. Sometimes the best repair is throwing something away.

  5. mikestallard
    August 11, 2008

    Do you get the feeling that the EU is inevitable?
    I am currently reading about Prussia which, against its will and against everything the Prussians believed in, was carried kicking and screaming into the position of running Germany. It seems now that this was an inevitiable process.
    Ten years ago, I saw the EU both as inevitable in that sort of way and also as something to be looked forward to and helped forward by every sane citizen.
    Now, to be honest, I am not so sure. A better parallel, perhaps, is Communist Russia in about the time of, say, Kruschev?

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