100 Examples of EU Fraud and Waste- Which is your favorite?

seenitallb4

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Open Europe published an amusing list of examples of wasteful spending of EU money and/or outright fraud. My favorite 2 are the ones about tax evasion at the Commission's Swedish office and the 44million pocketed by Commission officials for cleaning contracts where the actiual cleaning budget was 850k.

Which one is your favorite?

http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/top100waste.pdf
 


hopi watcher

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Open Europe published an amusing list of examples of wasteful spending of EU money and/or outright fraud. My favorite 2 are the ones about tax evasion at the Commission's Swedish office and the 44million pocketed by Commission officials for cleaning contracts where the actiual cleaning budget was 850k.

Which one is your favorite?

http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/top100waste.pdf
Have you heard what that waster McCreevy will pocket when he leaves? It would bring a tear to the eye of one of those mobile phone 'subscription service' operators!!!
 

Pauli

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The Italians seem to be very skilled at directing money from Brussels into Italy. Personally my favourite two are the funding of a public toilet in Hull to promote "regional competitiveness", where John Prescott may find a use for it, and the Irish-Welsh project, costing £575,000, to "tag" jellyfish. Bizarre!
 
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The Italians seem to be very skilled at directing money from Brussels into Italy. Personally my favourite two are the funding of a public toilet in Hull to promote "regional competitiveness", where John Prescott may find a use for it, and the Irish-Welsh project, costing £575,000, to "tag" jellyfish. Bizarre!
Impressive Pauli, got some more?
 

Gnome Chomsky

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and the Irish-Welsh project, costing £575,000, to "tag" jellyfish. Bizarre!

Why is it bizarre? You're obviously quite knowledgable about jellyfish research, so perhaps you could explain it to someone like me, who only knows the basics (jellyfish populations are exploding, are projected by some to become the dominant predator in the oceans, which is causing millions of dollars to be lost by the fishing industry).


It's not like you just made a judgement on that project while knowing pretty much nothing about it now, is it?
 

Armchair Activist

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Sickening but hardly suprising!
 

ibis

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Er, how many of these are actually examples of fraud or waste by the EU? It looks a lot more like a list of frauds committed against national governments disbursing EU money.

Not that that distinction would bother Open Europe.
 

slx

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I would be very concerned about some of the pure fraud that is listed there, most of which seems to have occurred in Italy with isolated incidents here and there elsewhere.

Italy's own national funds are embezzled in a similar manner without any control too, so it's really no surprise that EU funds, which would be ultimately administered by the same agencies as state funds, are going the same way.

I notice that Ireland doesn't really feature on that list, other than a few mentions of things in Northern Ireland.

I suppose our crooks were too busy legally mortgage holders via insane house prices to be bothered with such small change as EU funds! :)

The UK and Beligum don't seem to rate particularly well either on this. I wonder if it's because of easy access to UK stories, as the report was clearly written from a UK perspective, or if there is genuinely a problem with an attitude towards EU funds?

The other seriously worrying one was the fact that €5bn of state aid went to the former soviet block with seemingly no oversight as to where it was spent.

I realise this is difficult, as the money had gone outside the EU, but there doesn't seem to have been very much control over what it was spent on.

I'd expect a lot more!
 

ryson

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Fraud is inherent part of the bribery use to enable the empowering of the Brussels bureaucrats at the expense of the nations and people of Europe. The idea that you can somehow eliminate fraud is delusional and one that is deliberately promoted by the controlled opposition. It is the symptom of the NWO power grab, the EU's true raison d'être.
 

Pauli

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Why is it bizarre? You're obviously quite knowledgable about jellyfish research, so perhaps you could explain it to someone like me, who only knows the basics (jellyfish populations are exploding, are projected by some to become the dominant predator in the oceans, which is causing millions of dollars to be lost by the fishing industry).


It's not like you just made a judgement on that project while knowing pretty much nothing about it now, is it?
We have seen peoples lives ruined before Christmas by flooding, we have seen a fortnight of the country made lame by snow and now we have a water crisis with burst piping and empty reservoirs. We have a government working off a hangover, asleep at the wheel, parked in a lay-by incapable of any meaningful decision-making and passing the buck at every opportunity, demonstrating daily that they are simply unable to do the job required of them.

I think a localised marine study costing seventy-five grand north of half a million is a waste of money to allay the fears "of some" who are fearful of population explosion (where actually?) causing millions of dollars(!) to be allegedly lost in an industry, which from an Irish, and indeed a UK, perspective is very tightly regulated by Brussels anyway.

The money could be put to a better use
 

collina

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Open Europe published an amusing list of examples of wasteful spending of EU money and/or outright fraud. My favorite 2 are the ones about tax evasion at the Commission's Swedish office and the 44million pocketed by Commission officials for cleaning contracts where the actiual cleaning budget was 850k.

Which one is your favorite?

http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/top100waste.pdf
Got down to about the fifth one which were all cases of fraud or theft subsequently disovered. No examples of waste at all. Just shows that things are working the way they're supposed to.
 

evercloserunion

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Er, how many of these are actually examples of fraud or waste by the EU? It looks a lot more like a list of frauds committed against national governments disbursing EU money.

Not that that distinction would bother Open Europe.
That would make this thread a prime example of Eurosceptic fraud, no?
 

ibis

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We have seen peoples lives ruined before Christmas by flooding, we have seen a fortnight of the country made lame by snow and now we have a water crisis with burst piping and empty reservoirs. We have a government working off a hangover, asleep at the wheel, parked in a lay-by incapable of any meaningful decision-making and passing the buck at every opportunity, demonstrating daily that they are simply unable to do the job required of them.

I think a localised marine study costing seventy-five grand north of half a million is a waste of money to allay the fears "of some" who are fearful of population explosion (where actually?) causing millions of dollars(!) to be allegedly lost in an industry, which from an Irish, and indeed a UK, perspective is very tightly regulated by Brussels anyway.

The money could be put to a better use
Allegedly indeed:

The only salmon farm in Northern Ireland has been thrown into crisis following a devastating jellyfish attack that destroyed more than 100,000 fish.

Billions of small mauve stingers flooded the cages where the fish were kept about a mile into the Irish Sea, off the Co Antrim coast, causing more than £1 million of damage and leaving the future of the company in doubt.
Source

Fishermen too are noticing the problem as their nets become clogged with masses and masses of jellyfish on an increasingly regular basis.

“Not only do the jellyfish clog the nets and make them less efficient, but the increased cost of labour in removing them, not to mention the danger of capsize as smaller boats attempt to pull in their bulging nets, or the painful stings encountered in removing them, are making jellyfish a serious threat to fishing during times when they occur,” said Dr Doyle.

“I know of one example when the sheer weight of jellyfish in a pair-trawl off Dublin was large enough to physically stop the boats pulling it in their tracks.”
Source

Record numbers of deadly Portuguese Man-O-War have swarmed into the waters on Ireland’s east coast, marine scientists warned today.

Warming sea temperatures and strong winds are being blamed for the influx of the potentially lethal creatures, notorious for their eerie purplish glow and massive trailing tentacles.
Source

Half a million (between Ireland and the UK) to tag jellyfish and work out their movement patterns, when they affect Irish industries annually worth €200m (fishing), €125m (aquaculture), and billions of euro (tourism). Tourism Ireland spends twice the study amount monthly on advertising to the UK alone.

If jellyfish activity has even a tiny impact on the industres it is known to affect, such a study is extremely worthwhile. Spending the same money on salt, which may be your preferred option, is an example of short-term thinking which completely ignores economic context in favour of headline impact. I'm surprised, in your case.
 
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evercloserunion

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There wouldn't be any jellyfish attacks if we had voted No...
 

Pauli

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Allegedly indeed:



Source



Source



Source

Half a million (between Ireland and the UK) to tag jellyfish and work out their movement patterns, when they affect Irish industries annually worth €200m (fishing), €125m (aquaculture), and billions of euro (tourism). Tourism Ireland spends twice the study amount monthly on advertising to the UK alone.

If jellyfish activity has even a tiny impact on the industres it is known to affect, such a study is extremely worthwhile. Spending the same money on salt, which may be your preferred option, is an example of short-term thinking which completely ignores economic context in favour of headline impact. I'm surprised, in your case.

Ok , ibis, I had no idea that this problem was anything remotely as bad as this. I stand corrected. Mea culpa.
 

seenitallb4

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Er, how many of these are actually examples of fraud or waste by the EU? It looks a lot more like a list of frauds committed against national governments disbursing EU money.

Not that that distinction would bother Open Europe.
You make a fair point, and I didn't post this just to beat up on the EU for the sake of it or to start some sort of anti-EU rant.

There are examples of fraud and waste by EU institition or staff and there are examples of the the misuse of funds that come from the EU.

I posted it because the sheer scale of it all is sickening. The fact that a lot of the examples involve the misuse of funds by national/local/regional/civivc bodies suggests that the EU does not have the kind of rigorous internal controls that one would reasonably expect them to have. The fact that there seems to be so much misuse going on is toubling and does nothing to bolster the legitimacy of the EU among the citizens member nations. It makes it hard to lecture Bulgarians with a straight face.

Then there is the fraud that exists within EU institutions themselves. Surely, this must trouble you? I think that this issue needs to be looked at in and of itself and without referrence to wherether one is pro of anti- EU.
 

evercloserunion

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You make a fair point, and I didn't post this just to beat up on the EU for the sake of it or to start some sort of anti-EU rant.

There are examples of fraud and waste by EU institition or staff and there are examples of the the misuse of funds that come from the EU.
If we are to prevent misuse of funds which come from the EU, we must either do it at a national, as opposed to European, level, OR we must give the EU sweeping new powers to control how member states and individuals spend their money.

Personally I would like to see the EU given more oversight over the financial activities of its beneficiaries, but would you? Giving the EU more power is what a lot of people seem to fear the most--usually the same people who point to these abuses to prove their point in the first place. It's not surprising that these problems persist when the people most quick to point out the problem are also the strongest opponents of the solution.

I posted it because the sheer scale of it all is sickening. The fact that a lot of the examples involve the misuse of funds by national/local/regional/civivc bodies suggests that the EU does not have the kind of rigorous internal controls that one would reasonably expect them to have. The fact that there seems to be so much misuse going on is toubling and does nothing to bolster the legitimacy of the EU among the citizens member nations. It makes it hard to lecture Bulgarians with a straight face.
This makes no sense. National/local/regional/civic bodies are external to the EU institutions, so rigorous internal controls would do nothing to solve the problem. Solving this problem at an EU level would require granting the EU new external contol mechanisms, extending the power and oversight of the EU all the way down to local government level. You have to ask yourself: are you okay with that?
 

ibis

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Ok , ibis, I had no idea that this problem was anything remotely as bad as this. I stand corrected. Mea culpa.
Like I said, I was surprised - but it is a relatively recent problem, so I guess most of us would still think of jellyfish as something seen from time to time off the coast in ones and twos. As the first poster pointed out, though, it's a global issue - wherever we've overfished (nearly everywhere) jellyfish have occupied the vacant ecological niches, because we don't fish them, and nothing much eats them (except, ironically, turtles).

I posted it because the sheer scale of it all is sickening. The fact that a lot of the examples involve the misuse of funds by national/local/regional/civivc bodies suggests that the EU does not have the kind of rigorous internal controls that one would reasonably expect them to have. The fact that there seems to be so much misuse going on is toubling and does nothing to bolster the legitimacy of the EU among the citizens member nations. It makes it hard to lecture Bulgarians with a straight face.
Well, first there's the point that OpenEurope have run together examples from several years, all presented together. Second, they haven't bothered to note that all their examples were detected, and the money recovered (the EU has a very high recovery rate for fraud):

The Office investigates several hundred cases each year where the EU is being cheated out of revenue or its funds have been misused. Fraud against the EU’s Structural Funds, which finance farming, social policy projects and regional development, is the biggest single category of fraud that OLAF has to fight.

In 2006, OLAF recovered €113m in total in fraud cases. Twenty people were sent to prison in 2006 as a result of judicial follow-up by EU countries of fraud uncovered by OLAF.
So it's not as if this was simply stuff that happened, and nothing has been done about it, which is the impression OpenEurope have given. Even where the people involved have been described as "connected to the EU", the money has been recovered, and people have gone to prison.

Third, try summing up the figures, and you'll find they come to a miniscule proportion of the EU budget of €116bn. Finally, most of this (nearly the entire OpenEurope list) happens within the national context - it could be better described as fraud against national agencies disbursing EU funds, and the internal controls are therefore largely a matter for the national civil services. That's what makes it possible to lecture the Bulgarians with a straight face.

Then there is the fraud that exists within EU institutions themselves. Surely, this must trouble you? I think that this issue needs to be looked at in and of itself and without referrence to wherether one is pro of anti- EU.
That goes without saying - the only difficulty is that stuff like this OpenEurope "report" is muddying the waters.
 

seenitallb4

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If we are to prevent misuse of funds which come from the EU, we must either do it at a national, as opposed to European, level, OR we must give the EU sweeping new powers to control how member states and individuals spend their money.

Personally I would like to see the EU given more oversight over the financial activities of its beneficiaries, but would you? Giving the EU more power is what a lot of people seem to fear the most--usually the same people who point to these abuses to prove their point in the first place. It's not surprising that these problems persist when the people most quick to point out the problem are also the strongest opponents of the solution.


This makes no sense. National/local/regional/civic bodies are external to the EU institutions, so rigorous internal controls would do nothing to solve the problem. Solving this problem at an EU level would require granting the EU new external contol mechanisms, extending the power and oversight of the EU all the way down to local government level. You have to ask yourself: are you okay with that?
You should not assume that I would have a problem with allowing the EU to check that it's money is being spent properly.It is far preferable to seeing waste and fraud on such a massive scale. I have no problem with accountability once it is limited only to projects that are funded with EU money.

The bodies mentioned are external to the EU apparatus but in accepting EU money, they assume a duty to use that money legitimately. Any organization that uses public money (and that includes those who distribute it and those local bodies who use it) has such an obligation. It seems to me that in many cases this obligation is not being met at any level, EU or local.
 


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