EU celebrates the 30th anniversary of the ‘Cohesion Fund’ which did precisely zero for the UK.

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readApr 6, 2023

I have written about this before, however, it's always good to remind people mainly the BBC and other British news outlets along with Rejoiners who belong to the European Movement who intend to take us back into the EU, that the EU has given the UK ZERO, while we have given billions to the E.

OK, let's begin.

For 30 years out of your taxes, you paid continuously into a £150bn EU fund — and got nothing back. Zilch, Nada, Nothing.

It always pays to keep tabs on these EU charlatans

On Monday (03 Apr 2023) Elisa Ferreira, the EU’s Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, was effusive about a €179 billion EU fund which was started 30 years ago this week, following the Maastricht Treaty which British eurosceptics campaigned against vigorously — to no avail.

Millions of people in the UK would love to have new roads, new stations, new train services, new bridges, new airports, and other services. Sadly the UK was deemed ineligible for a single euro of the €179bn total it had helped to finance.

The EU’s Commissioner celebrated on Monday

The EU’s Commissioner in charge of this massive fund was in Romania on Monday, announcing yet more EU largesse.

“The Cohesion Fund has proven to be a booster for convergence, competitiveness and sustainable development, and for the internal market. It is a major contributor for a more levelled playing field in our Union and is one of the most exemplary means of EU support: iconic bridges, efficient and modern railways and metros, airports, as well as waste and water treatments that were supported by this Fund have improved the lives for millions of Europeans and modernised entire countries.”

- Elisa Ferreira, EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms — Iaşi, Romania, 03 Apr 2023

Projects have ‘funded by the EU’ plaques — not one says ‘funded by the British taxpayer’

The transformation in the quality of life of many people across the EU — from Portugal in the west to Bulgaria in the east — has been remarkable, but it has come at a cost. And it is not a cost which they have been asked to pay in full.

Below I give examples of the projects which have been part-funded by British taxpayers’ money, but first, I outline the costs.

The budget of the Cohesion Fund has grown significantly

[Source: EU Commission 03 Apr 2023 — cumulative growth as this is spent over many years.]

1994/1999 20 billion

2020/2006 40 billion

2007/2013 120 billion

2014/2020 179 billion

The beneficiary countries

In the last 30 years, the following countries have received money from the €179bn fund: Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

What the money has been spent on

Below I list just a few examples of the projects which have benefited from the ‘EU Cohesion Fund’. Bridges, metros, airports, high-speed trains, and so much more

  • 12.3 km-long ‘Vasco da Gama’ bridge in Lisbon, Portugal, the longest bridge in the EU
  • ‘Alqueva Dam in the Guadiana River, in the south of Portugal
  • Construction and upgrading of 7,800 km TENT-T roads, 3,650 km TEN-T rail and many aqueducts and tunnels
  • The longest rail tunnel in Southeast Europe, in construction between Elin Pelin — Vakarel — Kostenets in Bulgaria
  • Second rail track between Koper (Slovenia’s major Adriatic port) and Divača
  • Madrid–Barcelona–French border high-speed line, with a total length of 804 kilometres
  • Railway line Warsaw-Gdynia in Poland on the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor
  • Modern rolling stock between the main cities of Poland
  • Metros of Warsaw, Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia and Prague
  • Petrzalka tram line in Bratislava
  • Airports of Tallinn, Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Rzeszow
  • Many water and wastewater projects, and recycling plants, for example:
  • The waste treatment plant in Alexandroupolis, Greece
  • South Sewage Treatment Infrastructure in Malta
  • Water management plants in Latvia
  • Installation of renewable energy technologies in Lithuania
  • Flood protection system and reservoir, Upper-Tisza, in Hungary

I would like to ask a simple question

Have the British people been made aware of the billions the UK has given to the EU to improve the lives of citizens of other countries? We are talking about EU countries here, not poor countries in Africa.

Not one cent of the EU’s Cohesion Fund ever made its way to the UK. And yet the UK was paying into it… big time.

I have researched and published many reports on this, Some of these reports go into detail about just what the British people were paying for.

The plaques (which are compulsory) on all these sparkling new metro stations, motorways, etc give the credit to the EU. Not a single one reflects the contribution made by the British taxpayer. From Poland to Madrid you will see these plaques and all of them perpetuate the €179bn confidence trick that the money has come from Brussels.

The good news…

The good news is of course that the UK voted to leave the EU’s sclerotic empire. We will no longer be liable for the EU’s largesse going forward.

The bad news is that we are still paying for many of these projects thanks to the ‘Divorce Bill’ which was ineptly agreed to by Theresa May when she was Prime Minister, as part of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.

And the question for Rejoiners is…

Why would you want to take us back into this mess? How can you justify to British people desperately wanting improvements to their own communities, struggling to get to work each day using inadequate transport infrastructure, that they should finance these things for other European countries?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Sources: EU Commission

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.