By Martin Banks - 4th September 2012
This bald-faced duplication is shameless
A parliamentary committee has rejected calls for an EU agency to be axed.
UK MEP Marina Yannakoudakis submitted amendments which would have seen all funding removed for the European institute for gender equality.
But the move was thrown out by the women's rights committee at a meeting on Monday.
It came as the committee gave its opinion on the EU's 2013 draft budget.
EU funding allocation to the European institute of gender equality was €5.9m in 2012.
The commission had proposed an inflation-busting increase to the budget of 7.1 per cent for 2013, although member states revised the increase down to 6.6 per cent.
Yannakoudakis' proposals would have seen no funding allocated to the institute in 2013.
She said, "The 52 EU Agencies are costing the EU taxpayer over €3bn a year with the UK contributing more than 10 per cent of that total. Many of these agencies are inefficient, unnecessary and unaccountable.
"In order to reflect the cuts being made to national budgets, we need to make radical reductions in EU spending. I am determined to root out waste in the European institutions and have called for a 'bonfire of the EU quangos' starting with the European institute of gender equality."
She added, "The institute duplicates the work of member states, the work of the commission's DG employment, and the work of another EU agency; the EU agency for fundamental rights.
"Its statistics-gathering functions could easily be taken over by the commission's Eurostat directorate-general.
"I recently visited the European chemicals agency in Helsinki and was shocked to discover that an agency set up to manage the administrative aspects of the REACH chemical registration system will not be wound down at the end of the registration period.
"Instead the commission has given the agency new competences in the field of biocides. The agency recruited two new senior officials to deal with biocides just this year. Their annual salaries are in excess of €120,000 per person."
"There are two EU agencies dealing with training, two which focus on working conditions, two agencies working on food safety and two agencies dealing with fundamental rights. This bald-faced duplication is shameless. We must urgently seek to abolish a great number of these EU quangos and to seek efficiency savings from the rest."