Yep, you've guessed it, it's that time of year again. Today we've published yet another list of wasteful EU projects, the third such list in as many years (you can find the previous ones here and here).
One of our favourites is "Eurogaloppo" the cartoon horse which was dreamt up in order to teach German schoolchildren about the EU. A booklet was published chronicling Eurogaloppo's journey to Brussels on which he met several high-profile EU leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and former European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering.
The cartoon horse also bumped into Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, seemingly unable to contain his excitement:
Eurogaloppo: “I have so been looking forward to finally meeting a commissioner!”
Barroso: “Do you mean a commissioner like in a crime programme?”
Eurogaloppo: (sheepish silence)
Barroso: (grins) “Actually, you are not far wrong. The EU Commission and the crime commissioners of the police have something in common: they are both authorities.”
The top of the list is however reserved for the aforementioned "dog fitness centre", designed to “improve dogs’ wellbeing”. Perhaps the biggest crime of all, or maybe not, is that the dog rehab centre is yet to be built, despite receiving €411,000 of EU funds.
Hungarian media have noted that apart from new office buildings that remain derelict (click here for photographic evidence), the centre remains a distant dream for the local dog population. For now dogs in the area will have to put up with the kind of equipment pictured, which we can all agree doesn't compare to the "hydrotherapy" promised by the new centre.
All joking aside, the list is well worth reading ahead of tomorrow's likely agreement on an increase to the 2011 EU budget as a reminder of the kind of waste inherent in the EU's outdated and overly-complex budget.
Of course not all EU spending is bad, and we pick out a few good examples at the end of our list. But until the EU budget is reformed around more rational priorities (rather than used to subsidise farmers and redistribute large amounts of money among the EU's richest countries) and had the fat trimmed from it, we make no apologies for pointing out its flaws and mismanagement.