The European Union spent £2 million of taxpayers’ money funding “orchestras and bands” to promote its political objectives, the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has revealed.
In a briefing note titled “The Band Played On: EU Taxpayers and the Orchestration of European Integration”, the TPA said that the EU budget is being used to “fund a wide range of orchestras, concerts and music festivals. There is a clear policy of using these orchestras to promote the political objectives of the EU, in particular ever closer political union.”
According to the TPA, the EU employs what it calls “European Cultural Ambassadors” which are organisations it has deemed suitable for large and regular recipients of funding.
Organisations qualify as ambassadors if they meet the criteria of being “orchestras, choirs, theatre groups and dance companies whose activities have a real European dimension.”
This apparently separates them from the publicly-funded “Advocacy Networks, Festivals (which have to be both ‘renowned’ and have ‘a broad European visibility’) and Policy Support Structures for the Culture Agenda,” says the TPA.
The “Ambassadors” currently receiving EU funding are listed by the TPA s follows:
European Union Youth Orchestra €600,000
International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation €280,056
European Union Chamber Orchestra Trust €143,785
International Foundation Manifesta €212,081
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe €304,652
European Union Baroque Orchestra €332,246
The European Opera Centre Trust €250,000
De Krijtkring €80,000
Slovensko Mlandinsko Gledalisce €142,820
European Youth Jazz Orchestra €221,049
The TPA says that this shows that music dominates the programme, with bands and orchestras receiving over €2.2 million in funding out of the €2.6 million available — out of the €6.8 million awarded to all groups).
The EU has a budget of €400 million for its 2007—2013 culture programme. According to its own statement of purpose, the objective of the EU’s culture department is to “encourage the emergence of European citizenship.”
The TPA briefing paper goes on to give a number of case studies, including the European Union Baroque Orchestra which has been described by European Culture Commissioner Jan Figel as “a perfect symbol of our united Europe.”
Another case study quoted by the TPA is the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which is described in EU literature as “a role-model for European integration.”
European taxpayers are therefore involuntarily funding the propagation of the EU through additional taxes over and above what they have to pay to their national governments.
According to the Bruges Group, the EU costs Britain a total of £60.1 billion per year.
A report by the Bruges Group revealed that:
- Over-regulation costs Britain at least £26 billion per annum.
- The Common Agricultural Policy costs Britain at least £15.6 billion a year.
- Since 1973 the UK has made contributions to the EC budget of almost £213.6 billion gross or£66.3 billion net. By 2013, this figure will have increased to £299.8 billion gross, or £102.2 billion net.
- Britain's accumulated trade deficit with the other EU member states since we joined has risen to £359.5 billion.
- This year membership of the European Union will cost Britain £60.1 billion gross, or £50.6 billion net.
- That is the equivalent for every man, women and child in Britain of over £1,000 per year gross or £843 net.