The Cost of Europe
A citizens' organization called Contribuables Associés (associated tax-payers) is active in promoting awareness of where the money collected by the French government from its tax-burdened citizens actually goes. Here is part of their statement:
In France politicians do not listen to taxpayers who find that their taxes are excessive and that they are not put to good use.
And it is precisely so that the voice of the taxpayer may be heard and that taxpayers may become stronger against the government that Contribuables Associés was created in 1990. For the government will not defend the taxpayers unless they are organized to put pressure on elected officials.
Today, Contribuables Associés counts 146,000 active members in its ranks who put pressure on elected officials every day to obtain a more sane management of public money (...)
In March 2008, Contribuables Associés published a paper on the real cost of immigration. Excerpts appeared at several French websites and I posted a translation of these excerpts here. Now the group has published another report on the real cost of the French presidency of Europe, and the cost (so far) of Turkish membership in the EU:
The twelfth presidency assumed by France since the beginnings of the construction of Europe will open on July 1, 2008. For six months France will preside over all the Councils of ministers of the union. The total budget predicted in the 2008 law of finances to cover the cost of this presidency attains a record high of 190 million euro. This sum must cover the "traditional and obligatory activities of the presidency" (89 million euro), the "demonstrations resulting from the specific initiatives of the French presidency" (82 million euro) and the "inter-ministerial expenses" (19 million euro), that is, the financing of the general secretariat of the French presidency and the costs of communications. This budget is considerably higher to that of the two preceding French presidencies in 1995 (14.1 million euro) and 2000 (56.9 million euro). But it is also higher than the British presidency of 2005 (13 million euro).
As for Turkey's admission to the EU:
Turkey, a candidate for the European Union, receives from the European budget "pre-accession" credits that serve to finance internal reforms necessary for its actual accession. It received 2.1 billion euros from 1996 to 2006 and will have received 1.6 billion more between 2007 and 2009. According to studies conducted by the European Commission, which is favorable to Turkish membership, once in the Union, Turkey would absorb the equivalent of one quarter of the annual budget of the Union, or 30 billion. Considering the portion from France in the Community budget and the British rebate, it is estimated our country will take on about 20% of the net costs of European expansion. For Turkey, the French portion amounts to 6 billion.
Note: The British "rebate" is the reduction accorded to Britain in its contribution to the EU budget. Other countries have to pay this difference.
The entire 48-page report is available in pdf format at the Contribuables website.