“[The recipients] do not question the EU to the extent they would if they were not being funded by it,” said Pieter Cleppe, from the euro sceptic think-tank Open Europe. “That’s the whole point of the grants”.An outfit set up and funded to gin up good news for the EU puts in some mild criticism of NGOs, GONGOs, and other miscellaneous Astroturf flunkies for taking money. It’s kind of rich, and that’s where the fun starts, once you realize that they DO have a price... it’s more that the EU is giving them, but they do have a price.
But some argue that Clepp is ignoring the big budgets of some of Europe’s NGOs and think tanks.No, no, of course not. Think about this, you either have SO little public interest in policy that the think-tank would never be funded by citizens, or funding is getting piped to it from other government funded interest-groups and universities as well as Brussels.
For instance, the €146,000 the European Policy Centre receives, accounts for just over 5% of its budget, according to its chief Hans Martens. “You can’t buy us for that price […] We’ve never felt any pressure because of it,” he said.
So you either have a bunch of clucks who just don’t see a reason to scrutinize governments, or a bunch of clucks who think getting funded for its’ own sake to effectively say nothing substantive is better than working for a living.
Monday, February 08, 2010
Posted by Joe at 10:52