Does running Europe cost too much?

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I consider myself a European as much as I do British.  I speak French and Spanish as well as my native English.  I studied European Studies at university (back Europe when it was all the rage) and have studied in France.  I have lived in France and worked in Switzerland.

A recent File On 4 radio programme (on BBC Radio 4) has raised a few questions about the amount spent on running the EU institutions themselves and some of the stranger aspects of what the EU spends its funds on.  As ever, these things are never black and white, but there are definitely some things that should be looked at a lot closer.

My biggest issue…  why is the EU giving Turkey €120m (over £100m / $160m) in funding for a high-speed rail link between Istanbul and Ankara?   This rail link is working away from its nearest EU member country neighbours of Greece and Bulgaria.  Turkey is not an EU member state, and it is unlikely to enter any time soon, for a number of reasons (check out the links to other BBC radio programmes on Turkey listed below.)

These programmes are well worth a listen…

• BBC Radio 4:  The Bill for Brussels (direct link to the MP3 file) / File On 4 podcast page

• BBC Radio 4:  Turkey (part one) / (part two) (direct links to the MP3 files) / Peter Day’s World of Business page

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