SP corrects European Commission on size of EU bureaucracy

10 May 2009

SP corrects European Commission on size of EU bureaucracy

According to Dutch European Commissioner for competition policy Neelie Kroes, the European Union is not overburdened with bureaucrats. She questioned the SP's estimate that there are 170,000 people working for the EU bureaucracySP number one candidate Dennis de Jong explains why the figure is accurate and how it was arrived at.

Dennis de JongAccording to Kroes the EU employs roughly 20,000 officials. Isn't that rather fewer than your estimate?

‘Propaganda. This figure is not an honest estimate of the state of affairs. According to a report from the independent research institute Open Europe there are around 170.000 officials employed full-time in Brussels.’

That's a difference of 150,000! How is that possible?

‘Kroes only counts officials working for the Commission itself. She conveniently forgets the various agencies, expert committees, the Council Secretariat and the people who are employed in the member states, but by EU institutions. And that's not even counting the army of lobbyists.'


‘At the present time there are far too many major corporations attempting to influence the direction of policy on behalf of all sorts of interests at the expense of small firms, workers and the consumer. These interests are represented by around 12,000 lobbyists.’

Still, a lobbyist is surely not an official?

‘No, but they run the show and call the shots, all the same. They work Euro-MPs with splendid parties and dinners and sweet talk, and they write reports for the Council and the Commission. There is one Dutch liberal, Sophie in ‘t Veld, who works closely with the financial lobby, for instance. The voter has no knowledge of these matters. There is absolutely no openness over this. I find that shocking.’

You are here