Sunday 1 March 2009

European Parliament: Price tag 2009

At roughly two million euros per member, multilingual trans-national democracy does not come cheap.

The EU 2009 budget the appropriations for the European Parliament add up to 1,529,970,930 euros. A budget has to be forward-looking, so when doing your own calculations be gracious enough to divide the sum by the 751 MEPs who would be elected under the Treaty of Lisbon (instead of 736 under the modified Nice Treaty). On the other hand, during the first half of this year the number of MEPs is 785, so the Lisbon number is an average of sorts.

Details are presented in the 2009 budget of the European Union (Volume 2; Section 1 European Parliament), available here:

The following rounded figures give an indication of the different costs for the casual reader:

MEPs and staff 810 million

Buildings, furniture and equipment 294 million

General functions 133 million

Special functions 256 million

Other expenditure 37 million


The price tag of representative democracy is easy to fix; output or value for money much harder.

Ralf Grahn

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