Why must we pay more for Europe?


A chara, – Donal Denham (February 24th) states that Ireland should refuse to increase its support to the EU in the wake of Britain’s departure, insisting instead on slimming the EU budget. This is all well and good, as long as Mr Denham can explain how Irish farmers would benefit from smaller Common Agricultural Policy payments, why decreasing EU Horizon research funding would support Irish scientists, and how cutting Europol’s budget would make Irish citizens safer.

Mr Denham warns us to learn lessons from Brexit. An important one is that an obsessive tallying of euro received versus euro contributed utterly distorts the reality of a relationship. Ireland, like the UK, benefits greatly from our participation in various EU programmes. By pooling our resources with much larger countries, we gain much more than we ever could have alone. Cutting our contributions would force us to either forgo the benefits of these projects, or worse, spend far more to achieve them ourselves. Instead of chasing non-existent savings, Ireland should approach the upcoming EU budget talks with pragmatism, goodwill, and secure, prudent generosity. – Is mise,


Douglas, Cork.

Sir, – If one can tend to agree with Donal Denham’s views about “waiting room payments” to corrupt and sometimes violent states wishing to join the EU it is unreasonable to moan, yet again, about the supposedly outsize “Brussels bureaucracy”.

The EU has, according to many reliable sources, less civil servants operating in Brussels (33 ,000) than the city of Paris has operating in Paris (73,000)! – Yours, etc,


Lélex, France.