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Sunday, 22 December 2013

European Union funding £90m green lobbying con


The Telegraph

The European Union is paying green campaign groups millions of pounds effectively to lobby itself. 
Activists are being given the grants from a European Commission environmental fund, which enables a network of green groups to influence and promote EU policy. 
The practice has been branded a “cash carousel” by critics, who have called for the special fund — called Life+ — to be scrapped. 
In total, the fund has handed out more than £90 million to green groups in the past 15 years, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which has analysed its spending. 
Just over a fifth of its funding — £7.5 million in the latest round of grants — went to help “strengthen” green groups “in the dialogue process in environmental policymaking and in its implementation”.

One Brussels-based campaign group, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), has received £10.5 million from the fund since 1997, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance

The group’s stated mission is to “influence EU policymaking” and ensure EU policies are properly implemented by member states

The European policy office of the World Wide Fund for Nature, also based in Brussels, has received £7.4 million, while Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE), also based in Brussels, is the third highest recipient with £6.4 million

In total, 25 groups have each been given more than €1 million (£850,000) from Life+. EU funding has helped to pay for a video, produced by FoEE, of a green superhero called Energy Savings Man, which lobbied the British and German governments to back an EC energy savings directive, which has since come into force. 

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