© by Rob Ager 2009





Corruption in the EU and Financial Cost to the Member States

The creation of a European Union has been long in the making and has occurred in an incremental form.

According to this document by the Brugesgroup, "Membership of the European Union costs Britain £60.1 billion per annum gross or £50.6 billion net." The document then calculates "That is the equivalent for every man, women and child in Britain of £1,002 per annum gross or £843 net. Or the equivalent for every tax-payer in Britain of £1,939 per annum gross or £1,632 net."

According to chief-exec of the Tax-payer's Alliance Matthew Elliot and management consultant David Craig the EU costs Britain £118 billion per year.

This oficial document explains the UK as providing 12.2% of the EU's total budget "after abatement" in 2006. This is calculated in the same document as a net contribution of £2.8 billion from a gross contribution of £12 billion, but this is contrasted in the appendix in that the UK government's own account holds the net contribution figure as £3.9 billion. The report offers several "probable causes" for the difference of balance. In other words they don't have a definitive explanation as to why there is a difference of over £1 billion between the two accounts.

This particular uncertainty regarding UK financial contributions to the EU budget is something I picked up of my own accord, but I'm a mere layman on the subject of finance. So if you want a much more detailed and authoritative source on questionable EU financial accounts then try reading Marta Andreasen's book Brussels Laid Bare. Marta was the EU's Chief Accountant back in 2002 and decided to blow the whistle on their accounting practices. Here are some quotes from chapters 2 and 3 of Brussels Laid Bare:

"Numbers in the computerized reports came in from day to day. Some of the accounts came in on spreadsheets on which anyone can make changes - and thus if these were manipulated, leave no electronic trail. Some of the accounting did not even incorporate double-entry book-keeping - a system invented by the Italians in the 16th century - in which the two effects of every financial transaction are recorded: first where the money comes from or goes to and, secondly, what is the item or service that is being paid for or received ... Scarily, thousands of payments were being made out of the budget every week - for serious sums of money ... I asked for a list of all those who could - electronically - authorize such payments. But this was not forthcoming - ever." p14-15

"One of the first things I found out was that the opening balance for the EU accounts for 2001 didn't match the closing balance for the 2000 accounts. There was a gap of almost 200 million euros." p15

"I was amazed to discover that in the Commission there was NO central register of the recipients of all funds paid out." p16

"Incredibly, nobody appeared to be worried about the control of the other 90 percent of "indirect payments" - where the Commission paid funds to a local agency or ministry in one of the member states, who then passed on the money to the final beneficiary." p16

"When I finished no one uttered a word and Maison simply moved on to another subject: The future of the EU budget and a new Financial Regulation (EU accounting law) ... This proposed eliminating the existing "Validity of discharge for payment." In a word, this meant that payments could be processed directly to the bank by different directorates - without my staff checking the supporting documents to establish that the payment was for the right amount, for the approved purpose and was going to the right person." p20-21

"Maison made it clear that not only did he not want me interfering in any of his plans for "reform" embodied in the new Financial Regulation, but that he wanted me to be the one to present it to the Council of Ministers. If there was any gunfire, I would be the one in the front line!" - p26

"At the end of my speech, Maison commented that this was the first time that the Commission has a Chief Accountant who was a qualified accountant." p31

"Any proposals I made for new computer systems - even those needed on the gounds of direct necessity - were waved away on account of 'budget limitations'." p31

"According to my research, I could see that at the end of 2001 the under-expenditure was 15 billion euros - 10 billion euros more than the 5 billion figure the Commissioner appeared to be reading from her reports. ... she had already been in the job, and presumably followed the budget, for two years, and yet didn't appear to have noticed that ten billion euros had gone walkabout. ... Shreyer's cabinet had instructed the Accounting Services to send reports directly to them via e-mail - so no one could be sure that the Commissioner had got to see the figures actually produced by our department. To me it was fairly obvious that the figures and reports were pretty well cooked before they ever reached the Commissioner's desk." p33

Another whistleblowing incident in the EU was that of MEP Paul Van Buitenan, which led to the resignation of the entire EU Commission in 1999. Again financial corruption was the issue at hand. The opening summary in this house of commons report on the event states "The implications for the EU of the mass resignation are potentially serious, and the Commission’s credibility, as it continues to represent the EU in international fora, risks being seriously undermined as a result of the Committee’s report into its activities and failures." Here's a more recent incident of Van Buitenan battling to expose EU corruption, in which fraud investigators at OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) were found to be travelling with the very EU officials who they're responsible for investigating.

Again in 2006, the EU accounts were unsatisfactory. The EU website admits "the report mentions weak internal controls for the majority of EU expenditure, and a high incidence of errors in the underlying transactions." The page offers a link to the Annual Report in question.

According to the figures listed on Wikipedia, based upon the Open Europe (a think tank for EU reform) estimates for EU-27 budget for 2007-2013 in euros, Britain will put 103 billion euros into the EU but will only get back 47 billion – that’s a loss of 56 billion euros from the UK economy. So we put twice as much money into the EU as we take out – surely that’s a bad investment. From the same list of EU member state contributions, I calculated that the EU will take in a total of 839.5 billion euros for the period of 2007-2013 and gives back only 777 billion to the countries that contributed. Where does the remaining 62.5 billion go?

Those of you who are pro-EU and who have heard my Liverpool accent on my videos may be thinking "Why isn't this guy grateful for the £800 million boost to his city's economy resulting from its selection as European Capital of Culture?" Those of you asking that question have probably not come across the financial figures listed in the previous paragraph. If Britain didn't have 56 billion euros worth of its money disappearing into the EU accounts over a period of five years, never to be seen again on our shores, then the UK government could give several times the £800 million investment to every one of its major cities in the same period. The European Capital of Culture award is a propaganda stunt that not only hides the fact that Britain is making massive financial losses to the EU on a regular basis, but the scheme is also used to force multiculturalism on the city as a pre-condition of the investment ... political / economic bribery, EU style. It is not about celebrating Liverpool's existing culture, but transforming it according to the wishes of the EU and New Labour. The EU has been doing this on a systematic basis with cities across Europe since 1985. Forced multiculturalism and its true purposes will be further explored in chapter four of this article.

Several revealing factors about the EU-27 budget for 2007-2013 can be found in the following Choropleth map.

The countires are colour coded according to their ratio of financial contributions and returns relating to the EU budget. At the dark red end of the scale countries like Sweden and Germany get back far less from the EU budget than they pay in (notice that the UK is in the red), while at the light blue end are countries which get back far more than they contribute.

It seems the EU Commissioners were savvy enough to give Ireland a marginal return on its investments being that they knew Ireland, under the requirements of its own constitution, would have to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. If Ireland was Given as bad a financial deal by the EU as the rest of Britain, a "no" vote would have been even more forthcoming.

Specifically, notice that money is being sucked away from central Europe and given to eastern Europe: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece - and over on the Western coast, Portugal. Why the very deliberate Eastern transference of money? To answer this we simply need to look at the order in which member states joined the EU. I've colour coded the country names according to their codes on the choropleth map above.

The general patterns are simple.

  1. The longer your country has been a member of the EU the less it gets back for its money (apart from the curious example of Luxembourg, which has the greatest return on its investment of all EU member states).
  2. Taxpayer's money from longstanding, western and central European states is being used to bribe new countries on the eastern flank into EU "integration" ("control" is a more appropriate word).
  3. The EU as a whole is becoming an ever larger superstate, ever expanding into Asia. Notice in the order in which member states joined the EU charts that several more countries are negotiating to join.

Regarding these patterns some important question arise.

  1. Will there ever come a point at which the longstanding member states get back as much as they pay in? ... Or will their contributions always be used to enlargen the territorial boundaries of the EU?
  2. After 2013 will the newer Eastern EU member states, by then under full EU bureaucratic control, find that they also get back far less for their money? Will their contributions be transferred to other potential member states, as ours are now?
  3. Why are there a few exceptional longstanding member states that still get back far more than they put in (Luxembourg, Belgium, Greece)?

The third question is relatively straightforward to answer. The majority of EU institutions (Commission, European Council, Council of Ministers, Economic and Social Committee, Comittee of the Regions, Court of Justice, Court of Audit, European Investment Bank), are based in Belgium and Luxembourg so naturally these two countries, and hence the EU bureaucracy, will always be favourited for investment (scroll back up to the map and notice how Luxembourg has been colour coded in black, which makes its outstanding investment returns less visible - the creator of the map is anonymous). Greece is a different story. Although an EU member since 1981, Greece is situated along the South Eastern flank of Europe with several neighbouring countries that are not yet EU members. Investment in Greece will help facilitate south eastern expansion.

The overall transference of wealth from richer member states to poorer member states on the Eastern front could be argued as a humanitarian endeavour, but if it was truly humanitarian then EU membership wouldn't be required.

Back to the UK relationship with the EU, membership means our country is left open for citizens across Europe to flood in, despite the fact that Britain is already one of the most densely populated countries in Europe (see map below).

The monetary figures offered so far (a loss of 56 billion euros from the UK to the EU budget for the period of 2007-2013) don't even take into account the cost to the British welfare system caused by an influx of immigrants who are unable to support themselves. Although the official figures still hold that over 92.1% of the British population are white, I have witnessed first hand during my work in homeless hostels over the past five years, an increasing ratio of UK residents needing housing and welfare benefits, who are not British born. Many of them speak little or no English and as such are not useful to the British economy. Not only that, but according to this telegraph article British tax payers pay child benefit for over 50,000 non-UK residents. At the moment these financial burdens can only be stopped by the UK withdrawing from its EU member status.

Note: for those of you who are inclined to take the above paragraph as a racist statement - read on. I will shatter that inclination and demonstrate that I'm far more interested in REAL equality than either the EU bureaucrats or the New Labour party leadership.


Decision-Making in the EU

Let's now explore how decisions are made in the EU and to what degree the politicans you vote for are able to influence those decisions. In Britain, as with other EU member states, we have national elections where we vote in our own national leaders. However, we also have European Parliamentary Elections, in which we vote politicans into seats in the EU. Naturally we vote for whoever we believe will represent our interests, but what actually happens is that once elected, the MEPs no longer represent their own national parties. They become members of European Political Parties, or in short Europarties. Here is a breakdown of the current Europarties and their share of seats

These Europarties are funded directly by the EU. So when you vote to send your local New Labour or Conservative candidate to the EU parliament, you don't really know which Europarty you are supporting. For example, were you aware that Britain's member of the EU Council, Gordon Brown, is a member of the second largest party in the EU parliament - the Party of European Socialists? The largest party, with twice as many seats, is the European People's Party. This puts the UK representation as a whole, in a minority position.

Another factor is that no matter who you elect as an MEP their purse strings within the EU parliament are controlled by the EU Budget. A parliament within which all parties are depending upon the same funding source is hardly democratic because it places far too much influence in the hands of those dishing out the funds, in this case the EU Council. If certain Europarties are going strongly against the wishes of the EU council (or being 'Euroskeptic') then they could easily find their party affected by strategic funding cuts.

Europarties are under strict financial regulations, but as Marta Andreasen revealed, the EU Council doesn't necessarily follow its own financial rules. Consider that only a tiny fraction of the financial contribution from EU member states is reinvested in these Europarties - the total budget for all Europarties in 2008 was only 10.6 million euro out of a total EU budget of 116 billion euro for the same year. That's approx 0.01% of the total EU budget (one ten thousandth) or one twentieth of the 200 million euro that went missing from the EU budget between its 2000 - 2001 financial accounts. No wonder the Europarties and MEPs find it so hard to influence the EU Council.

Britain has 72 MEPs out of a total of 785 in the European Parliament, although it had 78 MEPs prior to the most recent election. The UK Office of the European Parliament states;

"The last elections took place on Thursday 4 June 2009, when the UK's 72 MEPs were chosen. The newly-elected MEPs take their seats in the new Parliament on Tuesday 14 July 2009. The number of MEPs has been reduced from 78 as a result of the enlargement of the EU."

So the more countries join the EU, the less influence individual member states have.

The EU tries hard to present itself as a democratic organization, but the processes through which laws are passed in the EU Parliament can hardly be called democratic. The Europarties are not allowed to draft proposals for new European laws. They are only allowed to vote on the ones put forward by the EU Commission. On that basis laws are only proposed in the EU parliament that serve the interests of the EU Commission. Here it is in the EU's own words

"The Commission has a monopoly of legislative initiative in all the areas which are subject to the codecision procedure. In accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty), only the Commission may put forward legislative proposals. ... The Commission has the ‘right of initiative’. In other words, the Commission alone is responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, which it presents to Parliament and the Council. These proposals must aim to defend the interests of the Union and its citizens, not those of specific countries or industries."

So let's clarify who exactly the EU Commission and EU Council are and how their members are appointed. The EU Council basically consists of the heads of states from each EU member country, with prime minister Gordon Brown currently representing the UK. Regarding the EU Commission, in the EU's own words.

"The term ‘Commission’ is used in two senses. First, it refers to the team of men and women – one from each EU country – appointed to run the institution and take its decisions. Secondly, the term ‘Commission’ refers to the institution itself and to its staff. ... They have all held political positions in their countries of origin and many have been government ministers, but as Members of the Commission they are committed to acting in the interests of the Union as a whole and not taking instructions from national governments. ... The day-to-day running of the Commission is done by its administrative officials, experts, translators, interpreters and secretarial staff. There are approximately 23 000 of these European civil servants. That may sound a lot, but in fact it is fewer than the number of staff employed by a typical medium-sized city council in Europe. The ‘seat’ of the Commission is in Brussels (Belgium), but it also has offices in Luxembourg, representations in all EU countries and delegations in many capital cities around the world."

So whenever we hear the term "EU Commission" or "Commission of the EU" or "the Commission", it could mean the 27 appointies from the members states (the EU Council), the 23,000 EU Civil Servants or any combination of the two. The 23,000 EU Civil Servants are appointed by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). Some of them are permanent staff and some are contracted.


Protection Against Foreign Threats (Eastern and Western)

Those of you reading this who are pro-EU (if you have endured reading this far) may currently be thinking one or more of the following regarding my stance on the EU ...

  1. "He's a right wing nationalist."
  2. "He's ignoring environmental issues, on which EU membership creates more global consensus and action."
  3. "He's ignoring the importance of an integrated European defence strategy, in the event of aggression from an increasingly strong China or an economically recovering Russia."
  4. "He's ignoring that we need a European Union to stop European countries from fighting each other."

Any "right wing nationalist" concerns will be thoroughly addressed in chapter four of this article.

The environmental issues are a complex subject that are beyond the immediate scope of this article, but one point I will make on the subject is that there is not yet a scientific concensus regarding the presence, severity, cause or effect of "global warming / climate change" [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]. The people who are claiming that there is scientific concensus are predominently politicians seeking new tax laws and politically funded / filtered science groups [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. When the politicans tell you that we don't have time to wait for consensus because we must act now for the good of all ... remember that those same arguments were also used by the same media / think tank / political networks to push the war on terror and invasion of Iraq ... and look where that got us. It's commonly referred to as "alarmism" [1] [2] [3] [4].

The issue of preventing wars, both within Europe and globally, I would like to address immediately by referring you to a 1997 book called The Grand Chessboard by US foreign policy guru and presidential policy adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. The tagline on the book cover sums up its content fairly well "American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperitives". It's basically a book about how the US establishment can dominate the world by dominating Asia. The smooth-talking Brzezinski tries his utmost to make imperialism sound a noble cause, but regardless the book is revealing on many issues and contains some quite shocking statements, (eg, "America is also too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of American power, especially its capacity for military intimidation." p35), but the following quotes relating to the European Union are of interest for our subject here:

"Europe is America's essential geopolitical bridgehead on the Eurasian continent. America's geostrategic stake in Europe is enormous. Unlike America's links with Japan, the Atlantic alliance entrenches American political influence and military power directly on the European mainland. At this stage of American-European relations, with the allied European nations still highly dependent on U.S. security protection, any expansion in the scope of Europe becomes automatically an expansion in the scope of direct U.S. influence as well." p59

"An America that truly desires a united and hence a more independent Europe will have to throw its weight behind those European forces that are genuinely committed to Europe's political and economic integration. Such a strategy will also mean junking the last vestiges of the once-hallowed U.S.-U.K. special relationship." p50 (This reads almost like an announcement that the U.S. will disown Britain if it doesn't join the EU)

"The politcal elites of two leading European nations - France and Germany - remain largely committed to the goal of shaping and defining a Europe that would truly be Europe. ... But each is committed to a somewhat different vision and design, and neither is strong enough to prevail by itself. This condition creates for the United States a special opportunity for decisive intervention. It necessitates American engagement on behalf of Europe's unity, for otherwise unification could grind to a halt and then gradually even be undone." p60 (Brzezinski doesn't state what kind of "American engagement" this will consist of)

(Regarding possible French leadership of the EU) "Even Germany could perhaps be seduced into acceptance of a united, but independent (of America) Europe, but only if in fact it felt France was in fact a global power and could thus provide Europe with the security that Germany cannot but America does." p64-65. (This also explains the logic behind the following two statements)

"In the short run, tactical opposition to French policy and support for German leadership is justified." p72

"America must work particularly closely with Germany in promoting the eastward expansion of Europe. American-German cooperation and joint leadership reagarding this issue are essential. ... Combined American-German pressure will be especially needed to obtain the required unanimous agreement of all NATO members, but no NATO member will be able to deny it if America and Germany jointly press for it." p 79-80

"Tacit American support made it possible for France and Germany to push the process of Europe's unification forward." p65 (the author doesn't state in what form this "support" took place)

"The central issue for America is how to construct a Europe that is based on the Franco-German connection, a Europe that is viable, remains linked to the United States, and that widens the scope of the cooperative democratic international system on which the effective exercize of American global primacy so much depends." p71 (notice the contradiction between this call for a "democratic international system" and Brzezinski's statement from page 35 that "America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad".)

"It is conceivable that at some point a truly united and powerful European Union could become a global political rival to the United States. It could certainly become a difficult economic-technological competitor, while its geopolitical interests in the middle-east and elsewhere could significantly diverge from those of America. But, in fact, such a powerful and politically single-minded Europe is not likely in the foreseeable future." p75

"America's central geostrategic goal in Europe can be summed up quite simply: It is to consolidate through a more genuine transatlantic partnership the U.S. bridgehead on the Eurasian continent so that an enlargening Europe can become a more viable springboard for projecting into Eurasia the international democratic and cooperative order." p86 (a "springboard for American interference" would be a more honest term)


These comments could be more easily dismissed if they weren't being written by one of America's most influential policy advisers. Among other things, Brzezinski was a co-founder of The Trilateral Commission in 1972, national security advisor to Jimmy Carter for four years, co-chairman of the Bush National Security Advisory Task Force in 1988, and he's been very politically active through other policy think tank groups such as the Atlantic Council and CFR.

So in addition to the forced superstate "integration" from bureacratic players within the EU, we have the spectre of arm-twisting coersion from the U.S. political establishment. Brzezinski and friends want to use the EU as a dependent / secondary global superpower, which will in turn extend U.S. imperialist policy across the Eurasian landmass. U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq are other, more prominent, examples of their global domination agenda. Is it possible that a United Europe would then be strategically pitted into destructive wars against China and Russia for domination of the entire Asian continent?

Regarding the need to fend off rising tyrannical Eastern superstates, which has been the base justification for aggressive U.S. foreign policy since WW2, I would like to recommend to you a series of books by Antony C. Sutton:

The Best Enemy Money Can Buy (1986) - This book explains how the Soviet military might was built up during the cold war by covert support from U.S. banks and manufacturers, and how Congress deliberately avoided using the Trading With The Enemy Act to put a stop to it. This continued in spite of the Soviets providing assistance to America's Vietcong opponents in the Vietnam war.

Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler (1976) - Sutton details how U.S. companies helped Hitler attain power and build up the Nazi military might and how this support continued during WW2.

Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution (1974) - In this book Sutton details how communism in Russia was covertly supported by the Wall Street establishment from its inception.

Each of these books is packed with documented evidence, such as sales receipts from treasonous weapon contracts and quotes from congressional investigative reports, and I'm yet to find a political writer who so strongly evidences his arguments. With the three books mentioned Sutton establishes a consistent pattern - the U.S. establishment has a habit of knowingly providing weapons, technology, financial support, and even loaning specialist personnel, to countries that the American public believe they are at war with. Basically, its a grand scale protection racket. In order to justify aggressive international policies, domestic tyranny, and a sky-high "defence" budget, the power-hungry U.S. establishment consistently needs to convince its population (and the world at large) that it is doing a good deed by fighting powerful "enemies".

Other sources have independently reached similar conclusions to those of Antony Sutton, such as these documents published on this EU Facts page (being that the original documents are in German I'm unable to assure you of their translation accuracy and authenticity) and the findings of investigative journalist John Buchanan, which were then reported on by The New Hampshire Gazette, The Guardian and, surprisingly FOX News. Buchanan's revealing documents on the subject can also be viewed at History News Network.

Regarding the more modern "threat" of communist China, the aforementioned Antony Sutton explained how the US assisted the rise of Communism in China and helped build the country into the superpower it is today. In 1986 he summed up "By about the year 2000 Communisrt China will be a 'superpower' built by American technology and skill."(p181, America's Secret Establishment).

If the U.S. establishment really wanted to stop Communism, terrorism or fascism then it could achieve a great deal by clamping down on its own covert support for such enemies. This would be much easier than going to war time and time again.

The Brzezinski book, mentioned earlier, raises a key factor that inadvertently supports Sutton's take on all this: "The European era in world politics came to a final end in the course of World War II, the first truly global war." (p5, The Grand Chessboard). WW2 significantly weakened most of the world's most powerful nations, which allowed the U.S. to economically emerge as the undisputed global superpower. Cross reference this factor with the information in Sutton's book Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler. The question begs to be asked ... Did corrupt players within the U.S. aid the Nazi war effort deliberately to bring about the mutual weakening of all its global competitors? That would put the blood of over 60 million WWII deaths on their hands.

Try reading the aforementioned Antony Sutton books and then ask yourself whether you want a European Union that the war mongering U.S. establishment has its claws in.


EU Think Tank Networks

To appreciate the determination of the EU bureaucracy in creating its desired EU superstate, its important to explore its associated think tank groups. The membership of these groups are not necessarily EU civil servants, but more a mixture of academic scholars, business tycoons and politicians. However, what is important about these groups is:

As an example of these important factors, the think tank Bruegel claims to be independent and funded by membership only, yet it has a funding / partnership alliance with The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), which describes itself as "an American institution with an American Board of Trustees" with "offices in Berlin, Bratislava, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, and Bucharest." and which also has "received grants from the European Union". So the think tank Bruegel has access to EU funds via the GMF, despite claiming to be independent. The Bruegel site also explains that its board members are elected by Partner Research Institutions (PRI's), Group of State members and Group of Corporate members. So it's not independent, it's not funded wholly by membership fees and it's strongly linked to a US think tank group with a specific interest in Germany.

The illusion of independence offered by EU think tank groups such as Bruegel can often be quickly shattered by a read through the partnership and funding information on their websites.

Other examples of think tank groups that operate an EU - US alliance of funds and membership are the Center for Applied Policy Research, Transatlantic Academy and Transatlantic Trends. A think tank called the International Crisis Group states on its website: "The International Crisis Group is an independent, multinational, not-for-profit organisation, based as a legal entity at 1629 K Street NW, Suite 450, Washington DC 20006, USA. International Crisis Group is registered as a not-for-profit organisation in Belgium, at 149 Avenue Louise, 1050 Brussels, Belgium as a branch of the U.S. entity with registration number 0872.781.947. This branch constitutes the international operational headquarters of International Crisis Group." Pay particular attention to the Brussels Forum if you wish to follow EU issues as they relate to US interests. In its own words: "Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic." Here is the forum agenda for their 2010 meeting.

The expansionist motives of the EU are expressed by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Their first founding principles states: "When faced by the great powers of today and the rising giants of tomorrow, individual European countries regard the world as beyond their control. But if it speaks with one voice, the European Union can help shape the world order." Compare that statement with the following article title from the US based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR): International Institutions and Global Governance: World Order in the 21st Century. In the CFR's own words: "The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has been the leading independent foreign policy organization in the United States since its founding in 1921." It's membership history strongly supports that point as it has included several US presidents. The CFR and ECFR certainly appear to share the same political ideology as well as their similar names. There is also a German Council on Foreign Relations (GDAP).

There are so many EU related think tank groups that it would take quite an effort to list them all here, but if you start searching online you will find them easily because they frequently contain links to each other. They form a giant pro-EU intellectual web, backed of course by EU funds. What is unsurprising is that virtually all of the EU think tank groups are in agreement on just about every major issue:

There are Euroskeptic think tank groups as well such as Open Europe, Global Vision and the Bruges Group, which ar far less subject to spouting the same group rhetoric as the Eu's own think tanks.

For more info on EU think tanks try this link. For more on the EU, try the EuroFAQ website. In addition, the following page from the Open Europe site details the "top 100 examples of EU fraud and waste".