Only 87.3% of the EU 2017 budget was allocated to member states

Where did the rest go?

The EU Commission, Parliament and its various organs spent almost €12 BILLION euros (over £10 billion pounds) on ‘administration’, according to the latest EU accounts for 2017.

That's the equivalent of the UK's entire annual net contribution to the EU, spent on 'ADMIN' - £10 billion per year.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org has been looking at the EU’s latest annual accounts from an overall perspective. We frequently bring you analyses of particular issues but it’s easy to get caught up in the thousands of EU funds and lose sight of the wider picture.

Here we present you with a basic fact that you will never get from the BBC, or from any of the other pro-Remain media organisations in the country.

Brexit Summary

In the EU’s last published set of accounts (for 2017):-

  • Only 87.3% of EU expenditure could be allocated to individual member states
  • The rest, almost €22 billion, went on the EU’s global pretensions, and to itself
  • In 2017 almost €12 billion of the €22 billion euros went on ‘EU administration’
  • That's £10 billion pounds - the equivalent of the entire UK net annual contribution to the EU

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2019

We looked at the EU’s official accounts for 2017, at both the budgetary allocations and what was actually committed.

The banks of Germany and the United Kingdom

Where the money goes is of course highly relevant to the 9 member states who actually make a net payment to the EU. The UK is the second-largest of these ‘net contributors’ after Germany, and these two countries effectively subsidise a large proportion of the EU’s activities.

Where did the missing €22 billion in 2017 go?

There are two main areas: EU Administration and ‘Global Europe’.

These break down as follows:

  • Only 87.3% of EU expenditure could be allocated to individual member states
  • EU administration – €11.8 billion (approx £10 billion pounds)
  • ‘Global Europe’ - €9.8 billion (approx £8.5 billion pounds)
  • TOTAL - €21.6 BILLION (approx £18.5 billion pounds)

[NOTE: Far more was actually spent outside the EU than on 'Global Europe', but these sums do not appear in the EU's annual budget. The EU has created separate and additional funds in order to make the picture look better than it is. We have published on this before and the information is available in our Brexit Index.]

This €21.6 billion euros represents over 12.6% of the EU’s voted annual budget for 2017 – the last published set of EU accounts.

This is for one year – 2017 and it is typical of previous years.

What Is ‘Global Europe’?

This used to be referred to as ‘The EU in a Global World’ and other such phrases. Now it’s ‘Global Europe’, as the EU never has been lacking in pretensions to its own importance.

The EU describes this part of its spending thus:

“Global Europe covers all external action (or foreign policy) carried out by the EU. It includes the enlargement process, development assistance, humanitarian aid and response to crises, with the exception of development cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries as well as overseas countries and territories of the EU, for which the EDF provides aid.”

It gets worse

The above figures relate only to the EU’s official annual budget, not to all its activities outside the EU. It does not cover all of the EU’s spending outside the EU and it does not account for the facts that huge additional sums are also paid through other vehicles.

In other words, the picture is in fact worse than the figures in this article suggest.


External spending

EU taxpayers probably assume that the money they give to the EU via their governments – especially those taxpayers who are resident in net contributor countries such as the UK – is spent in the EU.

It may therefore come as a surprise to many that only 87.3% is spent in ways attributable to EU member states. The fact that almost €10 billion of the EU’s basic annual budget is spent outside the EU will come as a surprise to many.

In the UK there is currently a hot debate about the 0.7% of GDP which the UK spends on foreign aid. The €10 billion per year being spent by the EU outside its borders amounts to 6.1% of its total adopted budget for 2017.


When it comes to the EU administration in Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg and elsewhere, and the cost of funding all those salaries, pensions, limos, wine cellars and the rest, Remoaners may think that almost €12 billion in a year is a bargain. That's £10 billion pounds.

Funnily enough, we don’t.

Implications for Brexit

It's a sad fact that for decades the BBC and other media organisations have been missing in action when it comes to informing the British public about the true nature of the EU.

It is only by constantly researching and highlighting facts like those above that the British people will come to realise the true extent of the deception that has been perpetrated on them for so long. This in turn will help to increase the pressure on Conservative MPs to reject the absurd deal that Mrs May has already agreed, and to eject her from office.

Please help to keep us going if you can, with a donation – no matter how small.

About the data

Our standard caveat: There are so many EU funds – those included in the annual EU budget contributions and those which are not, but into which member states like the UK have to pay – that it’s sometimes difficult to decide which numbers to present to readers.

Even in one official EU document it’s possible to find numerous totals where the individual items do not add up, and where a description such as “total payments for the year” are recorded several times as different figures in the same document.

What you see above uses official EU figures from the EU’s official accounts for 2017, and is as accurate as we can make it. In any event the sums are so huge that any small disparities are in the nature of rounding errors.

[ Sources: EU Commission 2017 accounts and dozens of other official EU Commission documents | Journalists and politicians can contact us for details, as usual. ]

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 15 Apr 2019

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