In these times of austerity when the EU Council, European Commission and the European Parliament are making efforts to cut costs, there are two EU bodies operating under the radar whose budgets have been increasing in an unchallenged way: the Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
In May 2011 the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the EESC in particular to implement a "comprehensive spending review" and "identify possible savings" - but still their budgets rise.
The budgetary control committee of the European Parliament challenged the secretaries general of the EESC and CoR - Martin Westlake and Gerhard Stahl - who once again failed to provide any concrete proposals on how savings might be made.
The figures speak for themselves.
Over the last eight years, the budgets of the EESC and CoR will have increased by some 50 percent, reaching €130 million and €86.5 million, respectively. There are around 50 officials at each committee with a minimum salary of €123.890 and six officials at each committee earning over €180,000 - more than the Dutch or UK prime minister. Read more....