EU splashes more UK cash on another French ex-colony

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readJan 21, 2019

Its OK for the favored few receiving EU money

Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast

The latest largesse from the EU Commission — spending the money provided by member states including in no small measure by the UK — goes once again to a former French colony in Africa.

On Friday last week, the EU’s Directorate for International Cooperation and Development proudly announced extra funding for the West African country of Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast.

How much money is involved?

The latest funding announced on Friday brings the total allocated to Cote d’Ivoire by the EU in the current budget period to €308 million. (Over ¼ billion Pounds.) This may not sound a huge amount, but Cote d’Ivoire is a poor country.

Using the IMF’s purchasing parity formula, the €308 million would equate to around €3.4 billion (£3 billion pounds) in UK terms. In other words, this is a highly significant sum for this developing country.

Following the UK’s money

The money allocated by the EU Commission comes from its off-the-books “European Development Fund” (EDF), to which the UK contributes. Extra monies have also been provided under the “European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa”.

It is important to note that the monies being used do NOT appear as part of the official EU budget. This means that they are never included when the Treasury or ONS provide data on UK contributions to the EU.

The EU’s off-budget EDF fund totals €30.5 billion for the current EU budgeting period, For this not to be included in any calculations about UK contributions to the EU has always seemed bizarre, to say the least.

What is the money for this time?

According to the EU Commission, the latest tranche of additional funding for Cote d’Ivoire is for

“the Good Governance and Development Contract, the interim Economic Partnership Agreement, and for flanking measures.”

No, I haven’t got a clue either, except for one thing. ‘Economic Partnership Agreements’ are included in the EU’s list of countries with whom it has ‘trade deals’. In reality, they are somewhat different, as this example shows. Why is the EU paying money towards this Agreement?

What we almost never see is an announcement relating to an international matter of importance to the UK. Former British colonies are virtually never mentioned.

Conversely, if you’re French you will see such announcements on a regular basis. If the country in question speaks French (as a result of past colonization) then it seems to qualify for maximum attention from the Commissariat in Brussels. Announcements are rushed out, in French, by the EU’s propaganda machine. Sometimes an English translation appears after a day or two.

`Remote, unaccountable power

This article is not about economics. It is about remote, unaccountable power. This power is exercised on a daily basis by unelected bureaucrats over whom the British public has no control. You didn’t vote them in, and you can’t vote them out.

This week we will have the unedifying scene of many of our elected representatives in Parliament trying to overthrow the result of the EU Referendum of 2016. They will use a variety of methods and with the backing of the anti-Brexit Speaker of the House, John Bercow, they are likely to overturn centuries of tradition and protocols to get their way.

Whether these anti-democrats will ultimately be successful or not, one thing is for sure. At some point between now and June 2022, they will face re-election.

And then, unlike EU Commissioners, you can vote them out.

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Graham Charles Lear

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