Half the cost of a coffee buys us EU membership, survey finds

News website Politico analyses Jean Claude Juncker claim that taxpayers pay the price of a coffee a day for belonging

News website Politico has tested Jean Claude Juncker’s claim that EU membership costs each taxpayer a cup of coffee a day finding that it ultimately costs considerably less.

The outlet’s “Cappuccino Index” found that while Irish taxpaying citizens contribute €1.22 per day to the EU, that is just 44 per cent of the price of a cup of coffee here.

The biggest contributor, as a percentage of the cost of a cup of cappuccino, was Italy where membership costs 55 per cent of the coffee each day, Politico said. Italy's contribution per taxpayer is ultimately lower than Ireland at 75 cent.

Ireland is the third biggest contributor to the EU's budget per person behind Belgium and Luxembourg where citizens pay €1.56 per day.

Politico’s research follow Mr Juncker’s remarks at a forum debating forthcoming negotiations on a new seven-year budget for the share of the EU’s economic output.

Speaking about the departure of the UK, Mr Juncker said: "It is difficult when a net contributor leaves the budget coffers of Europe. I'm not at all in favour of Europe becoming the place where it is free beer for everybody without having checked first what exactly one is funding," he said.

“It costs the European taxpayer one cup of coffee a day, that’s all. And I think Europe is [ worth] more than one cup of coffee a day,” he added.

The EU spent over €2 billion on Irish projects in 2015 while Ireland contributed €1.5 billion to the EU in the same period.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business