The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Propaganda: How the EU uses education and academia to sell integration

The EU's battle for hearts and minds

Martin Ball
Dr Richard North
Robert Oulds
Dr Lee Rotherham

 propaganda how the eu uses education and academia to sell integration

Propaganda and the European Union

The EU itself believes that it has a mission to educate the public. Helpfully, senior representatives of the European Commission have not been shy in claiming a role in a campaign to 'educate' the public as to the advantages of EU membership. In an interview on the BBC's Breakfast with Frost the former EC President Jacques Santer said: "We have as politicians to inform the population and train them in this direction". More importantly, those who would doubt our claim that the EU is engaged in a long term project to shift the public's loyalties from the nation-state to the EU's institutions and underpin the newly emerging European State should consider the following details from the many treaties, reports and plans to foster 'European consciousness':

  • The Adonnino Report 1985, where Pietro Adonnino MEP proposed numerous methods to promote the integration of Europe.
  • The ambitions of the EU culturalists were also set out in the Maastricht Treaty 1992, which enshrined such goals as "the dissemination of the culture and history of the European peoples". Funding was made available for such activities so long as the recipients could demonstrate the activity had a European dimension.
  • The EU's de Clercq Report 1993 devised initiatives to ensure that:

"...European identity must be 'ingrained in people's minds' as a 'good product' using marketing techniques and that certain social categories, particularly 'women and youth', should become 'priority target groups'. More controversially, it suggested that newscasters and reporters must themselves be targeted, they must themselves be persuaded about European Union...so that they subsequently become enthusiastic supporters of the cause."

This ties in with a parallel report by the Commission's Media and Culture Directorate, which showed that money has been made available for the media to promote "a more positive line towards Europe".

  • The Pex Report 1998 called for measures to "increase awareness of the achievements and advantages of the Union and foster public support for the forthcoming stages of the integration process". In particular it proposed targeting of the "least favoured" elements of society to persuade them of the glory of the EU. Later that year, a report on the Commission's Euro communication and information strategy stated that acceptance of the Euro will be decisive for pursuing European construction. It demanded extra funding, some of which was directed to campaigns in the UK. It established 'Euro mediators' for disadvantaged sections of society, while the role of children as information multipliers was acknowledged. Women were to be targeted because "they manage the finances of the family, go shopping, etc."
  • The inclusion in The Amsterdam Treaty 1998 of provisions relating to cultural matters demonstrated the determination of the EU to "deepen the solidarity between their peoples" by establishing "a citizenship common to nationals" of all member states. Cultural integration lies at the heart of the drive towards "ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe". Key to this process is the provision that the EU must take cultural aspects into account in all other policies.
  • Agenda 2000 observed that "the consent and support of European public opinion to enlargement is a clear pre-requisite for the realisation of the project. This will require, during the pre-accession period, a substantial public information effort in both the present and the acceding member states".

The European Union's propaganda budget

Expenditure is spread around many departments and then within many sections. Even DG X (the EU institution responsible for Information and Communication) is unlikely to have a complete idea of how much is being spent. However, we can catalogue and detail many of the various lines in the EU Budget that are being used for propaganda expenditure in 2002 and show how much money is spent on supporting such work.

The main section of the EU budget to be tapped on propaganda is B3-3, which is concerned with information and communication, and in 2002 it had a total budget commitment of €105,205,600. €44.7 million of this was available to Prince (B3-306), the section dealing in part with the single currency. Other key lines include B3-301 (Information outlets) and B3-304 (European Integration in Universities).

A-3020 (429)* Our Europe Association
* Bracketed figure corresponds to the page number of the Community's budget.

The 'Our Europe' Association is a study and research group which sponsors and organises seminars on European issues.
Funding €600,000

A-3021 (430) Grants to think tanks and organisations advancing the idea of Europe

This covers grants to non-profit-making European organisations involved in advancing and raising awareness of the European ideal, particularly those seeking to establish transnational networks in order to increase their impact at the European level.
Funding €1,830,000

A-3023 (430) European Union Youth Forum

The Forum is a non-profit international association that acts as a political platform for European national youth organisations in order to facilitate and stimulate their participation in the European decision-making process. It lobbies the EU on issues affecting young people by organising conferences and other activities.
Funding €2,000,000

A-3024 (431) Associations and federations of European interest

This is intended to support activities connected with reflection at the European level on the ethnical and spiritual foundations of European integration.
Funding €1,260,000

A-3025 (431) Journalists in Europe

This organisation runs an annual training programme for young journalists from around the world, focussing on the EU and on political, economic and social developments in Europe.
Funding €250,000

A-3029 (432) Support for international non-governmental youth organisation

This budget line consists of subsidies to more than 100 international youth non-governmental organisations.
Funding €1,500,000

A-3037 (434) European Women's Lobby

An organisation which lobbies the EU on issues of concern to women in Europe and is considered an essential adjunct to EU measures in support of women.
Funding €650,000

A-3410 (439) General publications

Money for the printing of EU pamphlets.
Funding €2,000,000

A-3411 (440) Priority publications program

Distinct from the money for general publications, this is used to produce pamphlets on major topical interests for opinion-formers.
Funding €2,500,000

B3-1000 (789) Preparatory measures for reinforcing co-operation in the field of education.

Financing of specific measures advancing European co-operation on education matters. This historically includes funding for parliaments representing the Youth of Europe, as well as studies and conferences.
Funding €17,000,000

B3-1001 (791) Socrates

Of concern through its support for educational projects from nursery school to higher education that promote the development of European citizenship. Includes funding for the Youth European Parliament and Model European Parliament Foundation, together with the measure Parliaments Representing the Youth of Europe.
Funding €248,150,000

B3-1007 (797) Promotion and safeguard of regional and minority languages and cultures

This covers pilot teaching projects, cultural events, conferences, and media products. Also requires that EU funding be acknowledged.
Funding €1,000,000

B3-1010 (798) and B3-1010A (799) Formerly: Youth for Europe, Now: Youth

The Youth programme is concerned with developing a sense of European citizenship and the subsidy of projects featuring a European dimension. It has been reported that once Youth even sent a troubled British juvenile to a Balkan Bear Sanctuary.
Funding €69,120,000 + €2,880,000

B3-2000 (780) Raphael

Covers funding for Europe Day, held on the 9th May each year. Projects supported must involve two member states and are selected by the Commission after consultations with a panel of internationally renowned experts.
Funding €9,400,000

B3-2001 (781) Kaleidoscope

Covers the support of artistic and cultural activities having a European dimension.
Funding €8,900,000

B3-300 (823) and B3-300A (825) General information and communication work concerning the EU

These cover a range of activities including opinion polling, impact assessments, sponsored visits, publications, television productions and internet sites, which are intended to foster a better understanding of the objectives and reality of European integration and the methods used to achieve it, in a context of dialogue between the institutions, firms and citizens.
Funding €18,020,000 + €144,000

B3-301 (826) and B3-301A (827) Information Outlets

This provides funding for information centres throughout the EU. It also covers the International Federation of European Houses, which encourage debate about the issue of integration, and the European Movement.
Funding €11,120,000 + €300,000

B3-302 (828) and B3-302A (829) Information programmes for non-member countries

Promotes the work of the EU, in particular as a provider of aid and as a trading partner, to target audiences in non-member countries. Specifically targets journalists as visitor groups to sell EU external policy as "consistent and dynamic."
Funding €5,455,000 + €45,000

B3-303 (830) and B3-303A (832) Communication Work

Joint European Parliament and Commission information work, including contacts with the press, and national information bodies.
Funding €12,430,000 + €1,170,000

B3-304 (833) and B3-304A (834) European Integration in Universities

Money for the Jean Monnet programme of higher education academic chairs.
Funding €3,604,000 + €405,000

B3-306 (837) and B3-306A (838) The PRINCE Priority Information Program for European Citizens

Money for communication and dialogue on specific policies between EU citizens and EU institutions. Mainly used to promote the Euro outside of the UK. Priority is presently being given to creating a "constructive" political debate among young people across Europe.
Funding €44,700,000 + €1,020,000

B3-4002 (843) Information and training measures for worker organisations

Training measures and information for worker organisations in connection with the implementation of EU action on the social dimension of the internal market. It also funds the European Trade Union Academy and the European Workers' Centre.
Funding €8,860,000

B5-3001 (956) and B5-3001A (959) Strategic Programme on the Internal Market

Includes grants in support of projects of EU interest undertaken by outside bodies, publications on these projects, and raising awareness of EU legislation.
Funding €10,599,000 + €1,791,000

Propaganda in the class room
Europe's youth is in the eyes of Brussels a legitimate target for indoctrination and are given special treatment. This is because school children are said to be a "very receptive" section of the population and can "perform a messenger function in conveying the message to the home environment, among family and friends. It is the active population of tomorrow's Europe". The scandalous attitude of the EU is best illustrated by a document endorsed by DG XXII, which noted that the introduction of the Euro represented:

"...a wonderful opportunity to implant the idea of European citizenship by placing the Euro in its historical perspective, by bringing out the symbolic nature of the Euro as a symbol of peace and economic prosperity, and by giving the Euro a civic dimension."

Crucially, the paper states that,

"...[the] education system-and teachers in particular-will have a major role to play in forming and communicating with young people. Young people will often in practice act as go-betweens with the older generations, helping them to familiarise themselves with and embrace the Euro".

To achieve this the EU has developed teaching aids and educational modules to spread the message. It is worth recalling some of them and their content.

One pamphlet, entitled Resources and Contacts, provides a list of contact points for further information that is one-sided. The Commission offices and European Movement are listed as sources to contact, with no health warning. Once again, no critical balances are included.

A far more perfidious booklet is Let's Draw Europe Together, a fancy fun book. It was first published in 1997 by DG X and printed in the UK for older pupils in primary schools. The opening section is entitled "My country: Europe", which speaks for itself. It contains colouring-in pages, crosswords, maps, an EU history date game, children's tales. The Euro is talked about in glowing terms.

Then there is Exploring Europe, a glossy booklet in which the genius and diversity of the member states is used to sell the idea of 'Europe', i.e. that in learning more about other countries the EU is the ultimate message-European Union and Europe are the same thing. This is underlined by the concluding few pages, on The Path of European Integration. An underlying theme is that nationalism has been a darned nuisance for the development of a united continent.

The most notorious of the publications aimed at children is The Raspberry Ice Cream War, a 32-page full colour cartoon book for young people with the subtitle A comic for young people on a peaceful Europe without frontiers. The story involves some schoolchildren who fall into a mediaeval universe. They have to bribe their way past a border guard and explain to the king why the EU is such a wonderful place. One of the characters says: "Frontiers and barriers everywhere and people fighting wars for the stupidest reasons. That's exactly what it looks like here. Kind of weird." Young readers are also told: "We're even going to have the same currency soon as well. It's called the Euro and we won't have to change our money all the time."

Only a handful of the 75,000 copies provided to the London Office of the European Commission were ever distributed in the UK. Public outrage led to the British Government agreeing that, "This undoubtedly was an ill-judged and, in part, factually inaccurate publication". An unrepentant Commission replied;

"[It] is directed at young people and is therefore of necessity written in simple terms; [...] The Commission does not believe that it is overstepping the mark and indulging in political indoctrination by addressing itself to young people to remind them of the Union's very raison d'?tre."

This was an example of successful propaganda monitoring.

Or we could turn to Euroquest - A trail of questions and answers about the European Union, which has a happy centipede on its cover waving flags. It invited children to "hum the European anthem" and introduced them to a typical EU passport which "makes it easier for you to go on holiday".

Then there is a video of a project in a Belgian school to trace the development of a classroom system of barter where it was decided to look for "a system which allowed us to use their money in their shops because we couldn't stay on our own all the time". Again, "to simplify things, they should make a Single Currency," so that, "Everyone is happy. See - it's better this way."

This compares with a booklet for more advanced study, The European Union: A Guide for Students and Teachers, which talks of retaining national cultures while building a common European one. In the section "Governing the EU" we can find yet again the oft-repeated canard that EU rules are not made by bureaucrats but by ministers. Then the reader is encouraged to demonstrate what he has learned by means of a test (answers naturally are those of the Commission's interpretation of history).

The conclusion of the teachers' TV programme Inside Europe carries a comment on the need for pupils to grow up thinking more in terms of Europe and less as an island race. The credits of the video European Awareness Secondary Schools and Schools Across Europe roll with schoolchildren on stage waving mixed national and EU flags to "Our school is broadening our horizons, taking us beyond national borders".

The UK government was hardly any better when its Partners in Europe education package (a small plastic suitcase of glossy brochures), distributed to highlight the UK Presidency of Europe, hinted that schools refusing to acquiesce in the teaching of European identity could face trouble. It stated:

"A European dimension in education is not an explicit part of the inspection framework. However, an inspector will make judgements on a school's work in promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural and social development of its pupils and preparing them for adult life. To the extent that the school's European dimension policy and plans contribute to these aspects of school life, they will be reported on both directly and indirectly in an inspection. Schools, which have invested in including a European dimension in the education of all pupils, will wish to draw this to the attention of the schools inspector."

There is also training for teachers and other educators to promote EU citizenship. Under the Socrates programme teachers receive funding to improve foreign language skills, make study visits, make project planning, or receive in-service teacher training.

School educational projects, whose principal aim is "to promote the development of European citizenship", are also funded by Socrates. These are administered in the UK by the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges. Study exchanges are arranged through the Erasmus scheme for higher education students and through Comenius for schools. Lingua promotes language learning and Eurydice, the educational information network. The Central Bureau is responsible for running ten regional European Resource Centres in England and Wales, which offer "guidance on developing the European dimension in the curriculum" for schools and colleges.

All the schemes outlined in the last few paragraphs have merit. However, these very admirable undertakings carry political associations because of their funding by the EU.

Competitions such as the DfEE's Celebrating Europe dangled in front of schools and colleges the opportunity to win £5,000. Other competitions offering computer equipment have sought class projects submitted on the Internet or computer "on a theme of interest to the whole of Europe".

A pertinent question to ask is whether UK rules on political lessons in the classroom would rule out such blatant indoctrination. The Education Act 1996 is clear on how political issues should be dealt with if so applied. It stipulates that the education system has a number of important duties and responsibilities.

"The local education authority, governing body and head teacher shall forbid the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school". Section 406 of the Education Act 1996

And that all points of view get an airing so that,

"they [the pupils] are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views" Section 407 of the Education Act 1996

Despite an Act of Parliament forbidding political indoctrination and setting out a "duty to secure balanced treatment of political issues" it is clear that these important principles and laws are being blatantly breached. Teachers that rely solely on EU materials to discuss the topic of Europe are failing to present the issues in a balanced and impartial manner and so breach the sections of the Education Act 1996 and are thus breaking the law.

What distinguishes educational writing from propagandist communication is that arguments are honestly addressed, and counter evidence is openly admitted and examined. Yet you would be hard pressed to find the contrary vision of the EU anywhere in the Brussels catalogue.

Propaganda in Universities

In the name of the battle for the minds of tomorrow money is made available to universities for the establishment of academic chairs, named after the Father of Europe Jean Monnet, for projects which "must deal specifically and entirely with the issue of European integration".

Between 1990-97 almost 1500 projects received support in over 800 European universities and by May 1998 there were 409 Jean Monnet chairs across the EU. These were split between 40% in Community Law, 23% in European Political Science, 28% in European Economics, and 9% in the History of the European Construction Process. In the 1990-98 Directory of the Jean Monnet Projects the list of UK courses ran to 38, yes thirty eight, pages, and 23% of the projects were UK-led. With five establishments being classified as European Centres of Excellence the UK had the most of any member state. The Centres of Excellence require a higher level of European consciousness within the university and a determination to carry on with the scheme after the funding runs out.

The journalist Christopher Booker believes that there are three reasons for the funding of higher education. Firstly, it establishes the notion of a single European research area. Secondly, it builds up a client support base where participants are more likely to realise what Europe has to offer them as members. Thirdly, academics are effectively co-opted into the EU's policy-making process and since they are involved in the building of the project they will be more supportive.

It's not just academics who can rely on EU backing. There is funding for British students to write research papers about the positive aspects.

Research & Development in the EU - a summary

  • Research and development has been a key part of EU policy, especially since the Amsterdam Treaty and Delors White Paper in 1993. Currently, the Commission is extending its control through the "European Research Area".
  • EU research policy is co-ordinated by a DG Research, formerly DG XII. The primary policy instrument is the "framework programme", currently the sixth, commonly abbreviated to FP6.<.li>
  • The programmes are promoted to "help solve problems and to respond to major socio-economic challenges such as increasing Europe's industrial competitiveness, job creation and improving the quality of life for European citizens".
  • They are important in furthering European integration, demonstrated by the main declared objectives: "strengthening the scientific and technological basis of EU industry and encouraging it to become more competitive at an international level"; and "contributing to other EU policies (health, environment, consumer protection, economic and social cohesion, etc)".
  • The specific aims of the programmes are to promote "…Europe's scientific community". There is particular emphasis on adapting research to "…the context created by the launch of the single currency and the start of accession negotiations with a view to enlargement of the Union, bringing Europe greater economic integration and closer to its historical and cultural frontiers".
  • The Jean Monnet project: Entirely separate from the framework funding this is used for the political scientists and is the mechanism for teaching "European Integration in University Studies". It is managed by DG Education and Culture to facilitate "the introduction of European integration studies in universities by means of start-up subsidies". Currently, 7000 universities are involved, with 1,500 professors teaching more than 250,000 students a year.
  • Networks: Not only are there direct contacts - and cash flows - between the academic institutions and EU funding agencies, individual institutions collaborate with each other, and through them with other organisations, in widespread formal and informal networks. In fact, an essential qualifying requirement for most EU funding is that academic institutions should collaborate on a Europe-wide basis. "Networking" is the very essence of the "European dimension".
  • There is also an overarching series of associations and organisations, representing academic interests, or coordinating academic activity on an international scale. This larger "network" consists of a plethora of official, semi-official and unofficial associations and organisations, many of which are themselves inter-linked, the whole forming a sphere of EU influence which pervades the entire structure of academia.
  • The various organisations are brought together through a network of shadowy committees, central to which is CREST (the Scientific and Technical Research Committee), set up by a Council Resolution of 14 January 1974 with the responsibility for assisting the Community institutions in the field of scientific research and technological development.
  • Additionally, there is the European Research Forum (ERF) which works under the aegis of - or are associated with - INCO (INternational COoperation in RTD), a Commission programme which sees international co-operation as "one essential dimension of EU activity". The intention is, progressively, to pool EU and national funding, creating "pan-European projects", co-ordinated by the Commission.
  • Another is the European Science Foundation (ESF), based in Strasbourg. The organisation is an association of national organisations responsible for the support of scientific research, financed mainly by public sector organisations in its component member states. These comprise all the 15 EU member states amongst the 23 member countries, and also include the EU applicant states. The UK is represented by its six Research Councils, the British Academy and the Royal Society. Effectively, British Research Councils are part of a European network.
  • Although the ESF is not an EU organisation, per se, it maintains close links with the European Commission and shares the same objective of promoting high quality science at a European level. In this role, it not only brings together "leading scientists and funding agencies to debate, plan and implement European initiatives" but it also plays "an increasingly active role in shaping European science policy" in conjunction with the EU, providing a "substantial input and recommendations" for the 6th Framework Programme.
  • The general budget for the ESF in 2000 amounts to about €5.5 million but this does not include the funding for specific scientific programmes. But the EU makes a direct contribution in terms of "partial funding" to "European Research Conferences" (EURESCO). When these are added to the budget, the total annual cash flow for the ESF increases to over €15.2 million.
  • Closely linked with the ESF is another organisation, known as the European Union Research Organisations Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCs). This was established in 1992 as an informal association of national research councils of the European Union. EUROHOCs meet in plenary session twice a year and the steering committee four times. Observers are invited from the European Science Foundation.
  • Another key organisation is UKRO (UK Research Office). It represents the British Council and all UK Research Councils. Its head office is in Brussels. The primary role of UKRO is to promote "UK participation in European Community Research". It works with the EuRaTIN partnership, comprising members in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. This system is supported by IGLO, the Informal Group of R&D Liaison Offices in Brussels, set up to "facilitate access to European R&D funding".
  • Another key Euro-academic association is the European Communities Studies Association (ESCA), founded by the European integration studies associations from member states. This is the main organisation in the Community hierarchy, which represents 5,000 professors and researchers. Its "vocation" is "to promote teaching and university research on European integration; to develop co-operation amongst its members…; to manage transnational programmes of research and technical assistance…; and to disseminate information on university activities relating to teaching and research on European integration".
  • Another group is the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). Claiming to be an "independent, scholarly association representing European political scientists", it is a registered charity under British law and has its headquarters at Essex University. The ECPR was formed in 1970 to "provide a strong base and an infrastructure to help scholars in their research and training, particularly by fostering co-operation through creating an extensive network of political scientists in Europe - and beyond".
  • Of similar provenance is the European Consortium for Sociological Research (ECSR), the purpose of which is to: "promote sociological research in Europe and in particular by encouraging co-operation between research centres; by improving the resources and facilities available to sociologists in Europe; by increasing contacts among them; and by facilitating collaborative research and training programmes".
  • An unofficial association for academics exists with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) which claims to be an "independent organisation… aiming at the promotion of international research on European Integration". But its British board member is MEP Professor Andrew Duff, former member of the Federal Trust for Education and Research.
  • Bringing together much of the "hard" science is the Joint Research Centre. This is the European Union Commission's scientific and technical research laboratory, but it is also a Directorate General in its own right, with an annual budget of over €300 million, employing about 2,500 staff. Its primary function is providing scientific advice and technical know-how to support EU policies.
  • The headquarters is in Brussels and the Centre runs eight different institutes, on five separate sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain - dealing with such matters as "reference materials and measurements", environment, space applications, health and consumer protection and "prospective technological studies".
  • Another "independent" body is the National Foundation for Educational Research, which undertakes "research and development projects in all sectors of the public education system". Thus hosts the EURYDYCE Unit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the "education information network for Europe", funded by the European Commission. It is also a member of the "network" calling itself "Partnerships Against Social Exclusion", also funded by the European Commission, and is an "Ortelius" National Agency, a "database on higher education at a European level", again funded by the European Commission.
  • Teachers are also "organised" in EGOS, the European Group for Organisational Studies, which describes itself as a "professional association of teachers and researchers acting as a network for the advancement of organisational knowledge". A self-declared aims is "…to be a potential partner for the EU authorities concerned with academic and educational topics". The organisation "follows up the political dimension of academic work within Europe according to programmes and other activities initiated by the European Union" and aims to "…contribute to the design of future programmes on a European level", not least of which is the development of a common EU schools syllabus.
  • Another association is the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), founded in 1983. Its aim is to "provide decision-makers, inside and outside government, with authoritative and independent analysis of European affairs; to provide a forum for discussion to stakeholders in the European policy process; and to create a network of leaders committed to the development of European integration and co-operation".
  • There are also specialist or sectoral organisations, such as the European Consumer Law Group (ECLG), directly funded by DG SANCO. This is a group of "lawyers and law scholars" established in London in March 1997 "with the purpose of strengthening links between practitioners and researchers involved into (sic) the legal promotion of consumer interests in their respective countries".
  • Research managers and administrators are also involved, in EARMA - the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators, another organisation "…to promote the effectiveness of European Research". EARMA has been recognised by the Commission which has chosen it to present the view of managers and administrators on the white paper "Towards a European Research Area".
  • The budget for previous framework programme, FP5 was €14.96 billion (nearly £10 billion), for the four years 1999-2002. The sixth framework had grown to €17.5 billion, covering the period 2003-2006.
  • Other significant funding sources are the EU Structural Funds, of which the European Social Fund (ESF) is one. In the current expenditure period, from an overall budget which accounts for one third of Community expenditure, €12 billion was set aside for research and technological development between 1989 and 1999, with €8.5 billion being allocated for the years 1994-1999, spending averaging €1.7 billion a year for that period. The budget is to be considerably enhanced, from Structural Funds of €195 billion allocated for the period 2000-20006.
  • Funding of €7.1 million was available from DG SANCO (Health and Consumer Protection) for co-financing some 60 projects related to promoting and protecting consumer interests in 1999.
  • DG Agriculture (formerly DG VI) also provides significant research funding. An important conduit is the LEADER programme, the initiative for rural development. No specific budget allocation for research can be identified but it is clear that a number of higher education establishments benefit from research funding under this programme.
  • In April 2000, the Commission approved a new phase, LEADER+, to which the Community contribution over 2000-2006 will be €2.02 billion. From these funds, there will be substantial contributions to research activities.
  • Additionally, the Directorates General for Enterprise, Fisheries, Transport and Energy, all have research responsibilities, and funding available. One programme from DG Energy alone (THERMIE) was budgeted for €577 million between 1995-8, while for its SYNERGY programme, the budget for 1999 was €7 million.
  • As a rough but fairly secure estimate, it appears that the UK attracts about €500 million annually (£300 million) in direct EU funding. Most of the programmes require co-financing or individual contributions, so multiplying the value of projects. From estimated contributions, it can be estimated that at least £600 million annually is flowing into the UK higher education system as a result of directly funded EU projects.
  • Although the framework programmes represent large sums of money the expenditure is relatively small, contrasted with the "big-spender" programmes such as the CAP - even though it the third largest single item of Community expenditure.
  • But the actual sums devoted to research, under the control of the EU, are considerably more than the figures which appear in the Community budget - by a factor of many times. The Commission amplifies its funds, so much so that, in 1995, from a four-year budget of €13.22 billion, the money went to some 12,000 institutions. By 1998 - with only a marginal increase in funding - it financed 28,000.
  • This was achieved by "shared-cost actions", whereby EU funds are used as "pump-primers", topped up and often exceeded by contributions from member states and participating institutions. Currently, about 90 percent of financial contributions from the Community are "matched" in this way, permitting the funding of some 90,000 researchers in the EU - making a huge cops of 'rent seekers'.
  • UK programmes and finance are also subsumed to the "European" agenda. This is done in part through the "European Co-operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research" or COST - an "intergovernmental framework for European co-operation in the field of scientific and technical research". Its function is to co-ordinate nationally funded research activity on a European level. According to the organisation's own annual report (1999), "It has been successfully used to maximise European synergy and is a useful tool to further European integration, especially concerning Eastern and Central European countries".
  • COST represents an estimated volume of UK national funding of more than €1.5 billion per year.

Enter the fifth column

On 1st July, 2002, The Times newspaper published on page two of its news section a five column item headed "Economy 'has met Brown's five tests for joining euro'". This was, according to The Times, the finding of a study that had been published that day, by Professor Iain Begg, "an expert in European integration" who had "drawn on existing academic research and earlier studies, as well as his own fresh evidence in reaching his conclusions". The study had been co-written with Brian Ardy and Dermot Hodson, at South Bank University in London and concluded that "entering the euro would not be a costless exercise", but any negative consequences would "outweigh the benefits".

Read as presented, with all the authority given to it by a leading national newspaper, the report had every appearance of being an impartial academic treatise. Nothing in the article in any way indicated otherwise. But impartial its authors were not. Professor Begg was a former Programme Director for the Economic & Social Research Council in charge of single market research (from 1994-1997), and had written a number of pro-federalist reports for both the European Parliament and the European Commission.

He was an ex-officio member of the Universities Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), whose members promoted a pro-EU agenda through university courses and was a council member of the Federal Trust, a pro-EU body which unashamedly calls for the creation of a federal European state.

Brian Ardy, one of Begg's co-authors, was a Jean Monnet professor, funded by the European Commission to teach European integration. He was also a co-author, with Professor Begg, of a report given to the parliamentary select committee for the treasury on the 13th June 2000, which drew the same conclusions as the report published by The Times, and which acknowledged the financial assistance received from the Economic & Social Research Council. The ESRC received funding for EU related projects from the European Commission and other bodies.

Dr. Dermot Hodson was closely linked with the "One Europe or several?" project which, despite its interrogative title, is dedicated to producing academic evidence linked with federalisation. Hodson was also a former board member of the ESRC and spoke, along with Professor Begg, at the One Europe conference later that July.

The point, of course, was that there was no hint of this at all in The Times article. And neither was this by any means the first time this type of "stunt" had been pulled. The game had been played for years.

For instance, on the 11th July 2000, almost exactly two years earlier, there had been a not-dissimilar article, again in The Times. This one had been headed: "Academics get behind the euro". The article cited a report by "academics at the universities of Durham and Northumbria". They claimed that: "Signing up to the euro could bolster the chances of survival for new business start-ups…". The academics then went on to assert that the "rising pound" and "higher interest rates" jeopardised fledgling companies and that the euro could "provide an important bridge to greater certainty and a longer life".

Again, what gave the report its power was its academic origin, implying independence and objectivity. Once again, that independence and objectivity was questionable. Not only does the Northumberland College Internet home page bear an EU flag, so does Durham University's web site, where there iss an advertisement for the university's "Foundation for Small and Medium Enterprise Development". According to the information given, many of its projects were "partially financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) or the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)".

This type of activity is the tip on an iceberg. A random review of academic websites clearly demonstrates how pervasive the EU influence has become. The Leeds Metropolitan University website, for example, promotes its Business School and one of its departments, the Policy Research Institute, proudly boasting of "prestigious clients", including the European Commission. It cites DGV as its "client", the Directorate responsible for the European Social Fund.

Manchester University's website parades a dedicated "European Policy Research Unit", under its School of Government, heavily supported by EU funds. Simon Bulmer, one of the university academics, contributes to the EU's ARENA programme, the programme of Advanced Research on the Europeanisation of the Nation State. In 1997, he delivered a paper on the "New Institutionalism", analysing the Single Market and EU Governance.

Hull University proudly advertises its EU-funded "Euro Information Centre Humberside", one of twenty similar centres in the UK, which claims to be a "first-stop-shop for information on European policies, programmes and legislation". But the pride of place in Hull goes to the Centre for European Union Studies (CEUS), founded in 1990 under the directorship of Professor Juliet Lodge and now under the direction of Dr Mike Burgess. It obtains finances from a variety of EU programmes and the university also directed the UK-wide Jean Monnet Group of Experts on the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference.

York University hosts a Centre for Defence Economics, which boasts of having undertaken research for the European Commission. It also has a Centre for Experimental Economics which claims to have been financed from a number of sources, "most notably the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom and the European Commission".

Lancaster University's Management School has received funding from a variety of EU programmes. It received €300,000 over a two-year period from the European Commission's Human Capital and Mobility (HCM) programme, and funding from the Training and Mobility of Researchers (TMR) and NECTAR programmes.

The University of Sheffield, which supports a "European Research Office" and hosts the web-site "Focus on Europe On-line". In a foreword to this publication, the University's Vice Chancellor, Sir Gareth Roberts FRS, proudly proclaims that the issue in which he writes "…continues to show the University of Sheffield's commitment to achieving excellence in research by integrating the European Dimension in all areas of activity".

Aston University's Business School in Birmingham, which claims to be "one of the largest and most successful business schools in Europe", also boasts of funding from the European Union. The London School of Economics hosts the "European Institute" and is a member of the "Community of European Management Schools", all handsomely provided with EU funds.

Reading University runs the Graduate School of European and International Studies, with a director who occupies the Jean Monnet chair, using EU funding for projects on the likes of "European Citizenship and Constitutionalism". Its Centre for International Business History is undertaking an EU funded project called CEMP (Creation of European Management Practice), which aims to judge "to what extent education, research and consulting contribute to the homogenisation of management knowledge from Europe".

With EU funding, Cranfield University in Bedfordshire is coordinating a survey into "Human Resource Management" and is undertaking research on the "Euro Human Resource Manager" in collaboration with establishments in Germany, Spain and Slovakia. It is seeking to profile the education and training needs of personnel managers and to determine perceptions of future developments in the personnel role. Its Institute for Advanced Marketing counts as its leading sponsor the European Commission.

Surrey University's Centre for Environmental Strategy, on the other hand, advertises its participation in a project called "Clean Development Mechanism" researching greenhouse gas emissions. This was funded by DGXII of the European Commission and involved six institutions across Europe.

Even the traditional universities are not immune from EU blandishments, with the prestigious Biosciences High Level Group (BHLG) launched by the Commission, boasting three Cambridge scientists amongst its 11 members: Professor Sir Tom Blundell; Prof. Derek Burke; and Prof. Anne McLaren.

The framework programme

EU research policy is co-ordinated by a "Directorate General" in the Brussels Commission, set up specifically for the purpose. It is called DG Research, formerly DG XII. The primary policy directive what is known in "Eurospeak" as a "framework programme". We are now in the sixth of such programmes, the title commonly abbreviated to FP6.

The programmes in general are promoted in glowing terms of social responsibility, the propaganda having it that they were conceived to "help solve problems and to respond to major socio-economic challenges such as increasing Europe's industrial competitiveness, job creation and improving the quality of life for European citizens". In fact, they are important instruments aimed at furthering European integration.

Some clue of this is given by the main declared objectives, which are: "strengthening the scientific and technological basis of EU industry and encouraging it to become more competitive at an international level"; and "contributing to other EU policies (health, environment, consumer protection, economic and social cohesion, etc)".

The specific aims for the framework programmes bring the real objectives into the open. Their task is to promote "…Europe's scientific community", and there is a particular emphasis on adapting research to "…the context created by the launch of the single currency and the start of accession negotiations with a view to enlargement of the Union, bringing Europe greater economic integration and closer to its historical and cultural frontiers (this author's italics).

At first sight, the scope of EU research is exactly those that one would expect of a state programme, encompassing many worthy studies. For instance, there is the "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources" programme. The main research topics are: health and food; control of viral and infectious diseases; a project called "the cell factory" - research on biotechnology; the management and quality of water; environment and health; and integrated development of rural and coastal areas.

Another flagship programme is "Promoting a user-friendly information society" (IST), aimed at, inter alia, making the information society "cohesive and socially inclusive" and improving Europe's basic research infrastructure. Then there is the GROWTH programme (Competitive and Sustainable Growth), targeted with "increasing economic growth and creating new jobs in Europe… and supporting Community policies that enable competitive and sustainable development". Some 600 organisations participated, including 30 from Central and Eastern European Countries. Then there is "Energy, environment and sustainable development" (EESD), of which one part is Environment and Sustainable Development.

Worthy these programmes may be, but what is also apparent is that they are European (i.e., EU) projects, or for supporting EU policy initiatives (including background research to help prepare legislation). The emphasis, therefore, is the promotion of a "European" identity, the strengthening of EU institutions, or developing the EU as a whole.

An example of this latter is the role of EU research in developing legislation. One example is the LIFE III programme, where most of the work commissioned is dedicated to the development of environmental legislation. Elsewhere, research funding makes an "important contribution to standardisation", and aids the development of a "European metrology infrastructure", thus furthering an essential plank of the harmonisation programme which is at the heart of the EU's legislative programme. The scale of this involvement is substantial. Under its "Standards, Measurement and Testing" programme in 1998, the Commission funded some 125 projects. Current activities include 52 projects, with the emphasis being put on research "related to written standards in support to trade and the needs of society".

However, by no means the entire effort is devoted to what might be termed "hard-core" science, policy and the like. A considerable resource goes to projects which are, effectively, "public relations". One group of projects is entitled: "Raising public awareness" and one project within this is OPUS, standing for "Optimising Public Understanding of Science and Technology in Europe" (and how they love their acronyms). This started on 1 January 2000 and has a budget of €358,000 spread over thirty-six months.

The point of this project is to bring together different "partners" from all over the EU (and applicant countries) introducing a "European dimension" to science and technology. No matter how valuable the project, it will not get funding unless it has this "dimension". One of the "partners" here is the University of East London.

Another similar project is ENSCOT (European Science Communication Teachers Network), and this introduces another core objective of the EU - the creation of trans-national "networks" to break down the "artificial divides" of national barriers. Co-ordinating the scheme, is Dr Steven Miller of the University College London. Other willing UK partners are the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, in London, and the Open University.

The project typifies the approach of the EU in promoting its core EU policy - political integration. Significantly, eighty-three percent of the projects are "trans-national", involving researchers from two or more countries, lending what the Commission terms "added strength" to its "European research area". The fact that science is involved is irrelevant. The primary objective is integration.

A great deal of money goes into "public awareness" projects, which are actually "European" awareness projects. Another is the "GMP Network" which, at a cost of €500,000 (with an EU of contribution €360,000), is tasked to establish a "European knowledge base open to interested parties for the purpose of discussing and communicating key issues on genetically modified plants". Then there is PANS - Public Awareness on Nuclear Science in Europe, costing €165,000. Then there is ISCOM (Improving Science Communication in Museums and Science Centres) which brings together science museums from across Europe, at a cost of €405,000, "creating a science communicators' forum for exchanging and diffusing science centre/museums best practice" across Europe. A project partner is Prof. John Durant of the Science Museum in London, who has hosted broadcast debates on EU issues without declaring how generously his organisation was funded by the EU.

Prof. Vivian Moses, of the Division of Life Sciences, King's College London, is another beneficiary. He is leading a two-year project on "EUROBIOTECH-EDUCATION" aimed at "exploring, surveying and evaluating educational measures aimed at the general public in the area of biotechnology". The cost is €268,000.

Then there are associated schemes. One is "Mathematics in everyday life" costing €283,000, devoted to raising public awareness for mathematics, bringing together European mathematics science centres, including one in London. Another is "Bringing Pupils to Science and Technology", which has been allocated €240,000 from EU funds to "improve the exchange of knowledge, know-how and expertise amongst participating European science centres".

Within the framework, there were also a number of schemes based around European Science and Technology Week, allocated for 6-12th November 2000. Although this event may have passed most of us by, it still cost a total of €1,190,000 (€929,000 of EU funds). Pride of place was taken by the "European Project on the Sun", devoting €526,000 to "making the European citizens aware of the beneficial impact of the sun on their daily lives". This vital project was designed to "mobilise the public in the construction of a 'mock-up' spaceship", the modules of which were joined together with a central module during the week of celebrations, to "demonstrate visually the way in which European collaboration really works".

Participating organisations in these schemes included the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the Progress Educational Trust in London, headed by Prof. Marcus Pembury, and the University of Wales at Bangor.

Social sciences also get their share of the booty, targeted under the title of the "IMPROVING". Within that comes TSER (Targeted Socio-Economic Research). One of the projects amply demonstrates the integration agenda, another acronym - EURCIT, which stands for "European Citizenship and the Social and Political Integration of the European Union". It is co-ordinated by Prof. Richard Bellamy of Reading University, with Dr Castiglione of the University of Exeter as one of the partners. Universities in Germany, Portugal, Italy and Austria are also involved.

The Jean Monnet project

Entirely separate from the framework funding and other sources, is the EU's flagship programme - the Jean Monnet project. Named after the supposed "father" of the EU, this is reserved for the political scientists and is the mechanism for teaching "European Integration in University Studies".

In typical propaganda style, the European Commission calls this an "information project" and claims, it is "undertaken at the request of the universities". It is much, much more. At the core of this "project" are Jean Monnet professors, the "shock-troops" of integration, the intellectual guardians of the "faith". As were Jesuits to the Roman Catholic Church, so are these professors to the EU.

Ostensibly managed by DG Education and Culture, once again the declared aim only hints at the actual purpose, expressed as it is in anodyne and innocent terms: to "facilitate the introduction of European integration studies in universities by means of start-up subsidies". As regards the "nuts and bolts", the project incorporates four elements: the Jean Monnet Chairs and "ad personam" Jean Monnet Chairs; the permanent courses on European Integration; European Modules; and Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence.

On the face of it, the "chairs" simply encompass a "symbolic term corresponding to a full-time teaching post, entirely devoted to the teaching of European Integration". But the holders are the chosen ones, trusted for their adherence to the faith and their willingness to lead others down the path of peace and light. They form the focus for establishing "permanent courses", designed to indoctrinate undergraduate and postgraduates in the orthodoxy of European integration, and to train new acolytes, ensuring that only the true message is passed on and heretics are rooted out, failed or downgraded. Pity the poor undergraduate with an independent mind.

The "modules" serve a different purpose, held available by political science and similar faculties, as a "resource" for students who wish or need to have a "European studies" component to more general studies, whether degree or diploma. Students from faculties of medicine, sciences, education, arts and languages are regarded as "priority" targets. By this means, the word is spread to a wider audience.

Perhaps deliberately, the "centres of excellence" attract an anodyne description which belies their true purpose. According to the EU Commission, the term is nothing more than a "label" applied to "…scientific and human resources dealing with European Integration studies and research within the university and/or at a regional level". But its aim is to "stimulate one or more universities" to pool their resources relating to European integration issues. They are, therefore, the "nerve centres" of the faith, forming a network which include Jean Monnet professors, document centres, postgraduate teaching and research projects.

But they have other functions. According to the Kent University centre, the job is also "to audit research and other European activities in the University", by which means the purity is maintained and students are exposed only to the upholders of the faith, without fear of heresy creeping in.

European Document Centres (EDCs) are also a part of the system. The form the "Network of European Relays", providing local sources of EU information. EDCs are "collections of material published and deposited by the European Union in academic centres throughout the world". They are supported by the European Commission and provide access to EU documentation, including privileged access to EU databases, in order to "promote and develop study in the field of European Integration". In the UK, there are forty-three such centres.

The amazing thing is that the EU gets the whole system incredibly cheaply. Jean Monnet professors must devote their time exclusively to teaching or researching "European integration" and must therefore "renounce" all responsibility for teaching "non-European integration" issues. Teaching activities are "co-financed" for a maxi-mum period of three years, in exchange for a commitment to maintain a full-time course on European integration for at least seven years. For that, a ceiling is set at a total of €30,000, spread over a three year period. In other words, the EU gets the services of a full-time senior lecturer or professor (and his or her staff) and a fully resourced university course for something less than £3,000 a year.

The high priests of the system, the ad personam Monnet chairs, are required to make "a commitment to maintain the standard of the Chairholder's programme of European teaching and research activities", in accordance with the terms set out by the Commission. For that, they get awarded a paltry €15,000 spread over three years. The "modules" are equally sparsely financed, at €12,000 over three years, while "centres of excellence" are given a meagre €60,000 over three years, for which they have to cover all the costs of maintaining their "European documentation centres".

Yet, despite the parsimony, during the period 1990 to 2001, over 2,500 Jean Monnet academic projects were set up, 74 "centres of excellence" were established, 556 chairs and 1,435 permanent courses and European modules. Currently, 7000 universities offer Jean Monnet teaching programmes, involving more than 1,500 professors, reaching more than 250,000 students a year.

In the UK, there are thirteen established "centres of excellence": University of Wales at Aberystwyth; the University of Bath; Queens University Belfast; the University of Birmingham; the University of Sussex at Brighton; the University of Essex at Colchester; the University of Glasgow, headed by Noreen Burrows; the University of Hull; the University of Leeds; the London School of Economics; the University of Kent at Canterbury; Loughborough University; and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Additionally, there are 101 Jean Monnet chairs.

Of the universities offering courses in European integration and related subjects, 102 are listed in the European Commission directory, one in every major city and in many towns, ranging from Aberdeen in the north of Scotland, through to Coventry, Leicester, Southampton, Plymouth and Belfast. Over 300 academics are employed on these courses, including 86 professors.

Overall, the project is managed by the European University Council for the Jean Monnet Project, composed of representatives of university institutions elected by the Confederation of European Union Rectors' Conferences and representatives of professors specialising in European Integration Studies, who are elected by the European Communities Studies Association (ECSA). The Universities also have their own association - UACES, the University Association for Contemporary European Studies. This brings together academics involved in researching Europe with practitioners active in European affairs and provides a forum for debate, a clearing house for information about European studies, and is itself directly involved in promoting research and establishing research networks. It is the primary organisation for British academics researching the European Union.

Networks

The relationship between higher education institutions, the academic community in general, and the EU is complex. Not only are there direct contacts - and cash flows - between the academic institutions and EU funding agencies, individual institutions collaborate with each other, and through them with other organisations, in widespread formal and informal networks. In fact, an essential qualifying requirement for most EU funding is that academic institutions should collaborate on a Europe-wide basis. "Networking" is the very essence of the "European dimension".

A good example of this networking is the London School of Economics European Institute. This was established in 1991 to "coordinate and develop post-graduate teaching, research training and research about Europe - East and West". Its aim is to "develop the LSE as a centre of excellence for students and researchers working on Europe in the social sciences and law".

Within the Institute is the "Economic and Social Cohesion Laboratory" (ESOC-Lab), which is a "completely self-financed research unit" which works on a number of projects funded by the European Commission plus "national, regional and local government entities". Its income from the EU is substantial. It has particular links with Italian and Spanish local governments.

Additionally, there is the "Canàda Blanch Centre for Contemporary Studies, and the "Helenic Observatory", which organises seminars and lectures on Greek, Balkan and European Union matters. There is also the "Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism" (ASEN) and the "Forum for European Philosophy" with an international membership of 38 universities and 50 individual members.

Another department is the "European Political-economy Infrastructure Consortium" (EPIC) which is financed by the European Commission as a joint project of the European University Institute. The project's goals are "to develop new research strategies in European political economy and to provide advanced research training for young researchers from all parts of the EU". EPIC is closely associated with the Ionian Academy in Corfu.

Directly linked with the LSE's European Institute is the Humbolt University in Berlin, the Institut d'Etudes, Paris, the Goethe Institut, London, the Institut Francais, also in London, the British Council and the European University Institute in Florence.

The European Union Institute in Florence is a key organisation in the EU. With its associated Robert Schuman Centre in San Domenico di Fiesole nearby, it carries out the Commission's works in developing policies and ideas in the political, economics and social sciences fields. It also coordinates the studies of national institutions throughout the EU. These two centres also provide the wellspring of European political integration theory, as well as providing temporary employment for a significant number of political scientists, sending them back to their home countries thoroughly versed in the benefits of membership of the EU.

One notable British member of the Robert Schuman Centre is Martin Rhodes -formerly Senior Lecturer in Government at the University of Manchester, and now director of the Centre's programme on The Future of the Welfare State. Another is Professor Michael Artis, also ex-University of Manchester, where he was appointed Professor of Economics, and now occupies the first joint chair at the Centre, held with the Economics Department. Through the EUI, therefore, the LSE is linked with Manchester University.

There are other links, not all of which are quite so obvious. One such is with the European Policy Centre, which produces the on-line journal, "Challenge Europe", sponsored by British Telecom. One of its main function is promoting books about European issues, written (or edited) in the main by academics. In the July 2000 edition of "Challenge Europe" there was advertised the book: "Rethinking the European Union - IGC 2000 and beyond". This was edited by William Wallace, Professor of International Relations - at the London School of Economics. And one of the senior advisors for the EPC - the only academic advisor - is Michael Emerson, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Performance - at the London School of Economics.

Interestingly, Wallace's book is published by European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). Thus, there is a tenuous link between this institute and the LSE. This link is particularly interesting as the EIPA has a central role in EU governance. This is explored later in this text.

LSE links, however, extend far beyond this network. Another informal relationship can be found with the British Council, the UK's "international organisation for education and cultural relations". Of some relevance is the Council's series of "International Networking Events", included in which is the "European Series 2000" - a series of conferences on Policy Development in Europe. The programme is directed by Prof. Howard Machin, head of the Jean Monnet "centre of excellence" - at the London School of Economics.

Under the aegis of the British Council is an even more interesting initiative, the European Young Lawyers Scheme, described as "one of the chief highlights" of the Council's law programme. It offers a "unique" course combining academic work and "close practical attachment", based either at the College of Law in London or at the University of Edinburgh, enabling young lawyers from the countries of Europe to gain "not only legal knowledge but practical knowledge into the workings of the British legal systems".

Crucially, participation in the scheme opens the way to joining the European Lawyers Association (ELA) which is, according to Edward Fennell, Law Correspondent of The Times, "perhaps the most exclusive legal network in Europe". Current chairman of the ELA, Philippe Jadoul, was a beneficiary of the young lawyers scheme and is fulsome in his praise for it. He says, "I really felt that I became a European during the programme. This stems not only from being in London but also from the way that one mixes with so many different nationalities. A common European bond grows up between us".

Jadoul is not the only one to "benefit". According to the British Council, "Many of the European Young Lawyers move into positions of considerable power and influence… The European Young Lawyers Scheme ensures that the British voice will continue to be heard with sympathy and understanding, through the medium of an active network of European-minded lawyers who know Britain from the inside".

Returning to the LSE, there is yet another EU-centric organisation which fosters multifarious links with other institutions. This is LSE Health, established in 1994 as a multidiscipliary research centre within the school's Department of Social Policy. It is also affiliated with the European Institute. The Chairman is Professor Julian Le Grand and the director is Dr Elias Mossialos. LSE Health aims, inter alia, to produce and disseminate knowledge about health and care issues. Its areas of specific research include "European institutions' health policy developments".

Within LSE Health is the European Policy Research Network (EHPRN), chaired by Professor Walter Holland. Its primary objective is to "promote concerted action at the European Union level to make optimum use of the expertise and resources available". As well as LSE Health, the network comprises the University Carlos III in Madrid, CREDES in Paris, ESRI in Dublin, the Nordic School of Public Health in Gothenburg, CeRGAS in Milan, and a number of other institutions including the European-American Centre for Policy Analysis in the Netherlands.

The view of EHPRN is that "only by concerted action at the European Union level can the breadth of expertise and resources be mobilised". EHPRN is "building on the work of established centres of excellence in the EU and its neighbours, and aims to develop a continuous debate and liaison between researchers and policy-makers at the heart of Europe".

Other Networks

Separate from the LSE is another organisation known as the "Santander Group". It was established in December 1988 as "a European Universities' Network" with the aim of establishing special academic, cultural and socio-economic ties and of setting up special and advanced facilities as well as privileged channels of information and exchange. A member of the group executive committee is John Macklin of Leeds University. The current membership is 45, including Bradford, Coventry, Exeter and Leeds Universities, all of which are involved in "most European Community mobility programmes", such as SOCRATES, ERASMUS, LEONARDO, TEMPUS, and others. There are about 4,000 student exchanges within the group each year.

The Santander Group cooperates closely with the SIGMA "Group of Groups" which was formed in April 1994 under the initiative of the COIMBRA Group, linking six groups of European universities. Its aim was to promote inter-university cooperation in six areas of study: archeology; business studies; communication sciences; languages; teacher training; and womens' studies. The Coimbra Group, set up in 1986, embraces 35 universities, including Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge. It shares objectives with the SIGMA Group.

In their own way, however, a number of key universities have created their own less ambitious networks. Typical of these is Leeds University, which has linked with universities in Hamburg, Freiburg, Munich, Toulouse, Paris, Genoa, Lausanne, Vienna, Castellon and Linkoping in Sweden, to form "Spacenet". This is not, as might be thought, part of the European space programme but is the "European Qualitative Spatial Reasoning Network", an "EU funded Human Capital Mobility network" which links major spatial reasoning research centres. Around 100 scientists from 11 sites in eight European countries are currently involved in "integrating existing European research" on qualitative spatial reasoning.

Another of these networks can be seen in the "EU-TMR Research Network on Social Evolution", which has been funded by the EU under the Training and Mobility of Researchers Programme (TMR). The network "brings together researchers in behavioural ecology, population genetics, evolutionary modelling and organic chemistry with specialities in ants, bees and wasps". It brings together the Universities of Sheffield and Keele, together with such Continental universities as Copenhagen, Leuvan, Florence, Uppsala, Wurzburg and Zurich.

Associations and Representative Organisations

Over and above the individual institutions and their networks, there is an overarching series of associations and organisations, representing academic interests, or coordinating academic activity on an international scale. This larger "network" consists of a plethora of official, semi-official and unofficial associations and organisations, many of which are themselves inter-linked, the whole forming a sphere of EU influence which pervades the entire structure of academia.

The various organisations are brought together through a network of shadowy committees, central to which is CREST (the Scientific and Technical Research Committee), set up by a Council Resolution of 14 January 1974 with the responsibility for assisting the Community institutions in the field of scientific research and technological development.

Additionally, there was ESTA (the European Science and Technology Assembly) - which pulled together "100 eminent personalities in the scientific world" but was replaced in 1998 by the European Research Forum (ERF). All of these organisations work under the aegis of - or are associated with - INCO (INternational COoperation in RTD), a Commission programme which sees international co-operation as "one essential dimension of EU activity". The intention is, progressively, to pool EU and national funding, creating "pan-European projects", co-ordinated by the Commission.

There is yet another organisation, tasked with co-ordinating science on a Europe-wide basis. This is the European Science Foundation (ESF), based in Strasbourg. The organisation is an association of national organisations responsible for the support of scientific research, financed mainly by public sector organisations in its component member states. These comprise all the 15 EU member states amongst the 23 member countries, and also include the EU applicant states. The UK is represented by its six Research Councils, the British Academy and the Royal Society.

Although the ESF is not an EU organisation, per se, it maintains close links with the European Commission and shares the same objective of promoting high quality science at a European level. In this role, it not only brings together "leading scientists and funding agencies to debate, plan and implement European initiatives" but it also plays "an increasingly active role in shaping European science policy" in conjunction with the EU, providing a "substantial input and recommendations" for the 5th Framework Programme.

Far from being relegated merely to the status of a partner in the policy-making role, however, the EU provides significant funds to support some ESF research projects through its framework programmes. But the EU gets considerable value for its money because it also benefits from ESF "Collaborative Research Programmes" (EUROCORES). These are designed "to mobilise national funding to tackle issues that have European-wide relevance and stimulate greater collaboration". Participating ESF member organisations jointly define research programmes, specify the proposals and peer review the outputs, but "funding decisions" reside with national bodies. In other words, the research is centred on furthering the Commission's objectives, but member states pay.

In terms of payment, the general budget for the ESF in 2000 amounts to about €5.5 million but this does not include the funding for specific scientific programmes. But the EU makes a direct contribution in terms of "partial funding" to "European Research Conferences" (EURESCO). When these are added to the budget, the total annual cash flow for the ESF increases to over €15.2 million.

The European Research Conferences are officially described as a "programme of the European Science Foundation, with funding from the High Level Scientific Conferences Activity of the European Commission". Each conference consists of a series of meetings, held typically every other year, convened on a range of subjects from the physical and engineering sciences; life, environmental and earth sciences; medical sciences; social sciences; and humanities. In all, about 45 conferences are planned for the year 2000, held all around Europe.

Closely linked with the ESF is another organisation, known as the European Union Research Organisations Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCs). This was established in 1992 as an informal association of national research councils of the European Union. EUROHOCs meet in plenary session twice a year and the steering committee four times. Observers are invited from the European Science Foundation.

A key organisation for the UK academic community is UKRO (UK Research Office). UKRO was set up in 1984 and represents the British Council and all UK Research Councils. Its head office is in Brussels.

The primary role of UKRO is to promote "UK participation in European Community Research". In pursuit of this role, it provides information on "European Union funded opportunities for research and higher education". But the information is accessible only to its 115 subscribers - mainly academic institutions - who which pay fees for the privilege of being kept informed. The main conduit is a periodic newsletter, with the information thus provided being carefully guarded. Each newsletter bears the stern injunction: "Information from this publication must not be forwarded or copied outside of your institution".

UKRO itself works with a number of partners, in particular the EuRaTIN partnership, comprising members in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. This system is supported by IGLO, the Informal Group of R&D Liaison Offices in Brussels, set up to "facilitate access to European R&D funding". All IGLO members meet regularly on an informal basis to exchange information in the field of European research funding policy and "fully support EuRaTIN activities".

Another key Euro-academic association is the European Communities Studies Association (ESCA), founded by the European integration studies associations from member states. This is the main organisation in the Community hierarchy, which represents 5,000 professors and researchers. Its "vocation" is "to promote teaching and university research on European integration; to develop cooperation amongst its members…; to manage transnational programmes of research and technical assistance…; and to disseminate information on university activities relating to teaching and research on European integration".

In pursuit of its "vocation", ESCA provides a dedicated web-site called "ECSA-Net" for like-minded academics, styled as an "interactive communications network for academics working in the field of European Integration Studies". It is funded by the European Union. Amongst other services, it promotes the "Euristote" university database. This lists over 22,000 references to university research documents, reporting work being carried out or completed since 1960, in 350 universities in Europe and the rest of the world, all on the topic of European integration. It also hosts the "European Integration online Papers" Internet database and is a founding member of the European Research Papers Archive (ERPA).

ESCA's affiliated organisation in the UK is the University Association for Contemporary European Studies with a secretariat in King's College in the Strand. Its president is Prof. Stephen George of the Department of Politics at Sheffield University, who is also a Jean Monnet professor.

Yet another group is the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). Claiming to be an "independent, scholarly association representing European political scientists", it is a registered charity under British law and has its headquarters at Essex University. The University is also a Jean Monnet centre of excellence, with no less than five Jean Monnet professors, and a European Documentation Centre.

The ECPR was formed in 1970 to "provide a strong base and an infrastructure to help scholars in their research and training, particularly by fostering co-operation through creating an extensive network of political scientists in Europe - and beyond". The consortium has links with the American Political Science Association and the International Political Science Association (IPSA). Members of the ECPR in the UK include 56 universities, including the LSE and all but one of the Jean Monnet centres of excellence. All but a handful of the European Document Centres are also ECPR members. Overseas members include the European Union Institute in Florence.

Of similar provenance is the European Consortium for Sociological Research (ECSR), the purpose of which is to: "promote sociological research in Europe and in particular by encouraging cooperation between research centres; by improving the resources and facilities available to sociologists in Europe; by increasing contacts among them; and by facilitating collaborative research and training programmes. Its secretary is Prof. Richard Breen, an associate member of Nuffield College and currently of the European Institute, Florence. Before that he was Professor of Sociology at Queen's University, Belfast. The ECSR has links with over 30 European institutes, including Nuffield College, the Policy Studies Institute in London, Queen's University Belfast and Edinburgh University.

An unofficial association for academics exists with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) which claims to be an "independent organisation… aiming at the promotion of international research on European Integration". But its British board member is Professor Andrew Duff, former member of the Federal Trust for Education and Research. He is now an MEP and constitutional affairs spokesman for the European Liberal Democrats. The Trust gives its address as Dean Bradley House in London, home of the European Movement, an EU funded lobby organisation.

Academic members of the Trust's council include Professor Ian Begg, professor of international economics at the Business School, South Bank University, Dr Michael Burgess, Director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Hull - another Jean Monnet professor - and Professor Jorg Monar, Director of the Centre for European Politics and Institutions, at the University of Leicester. Other members include John Stevens, former MEP and currently leader of the Pro-Euro Conservative Party, and Ernest Wistricht, former director of the European Movement.

Stitching together much of the "hard" science is the Joint Research Centre. This is the European Union Commission's scientific and technical research laboratory, but it is also a Directorate General in its own right, with an annual budget of over €300 million, employing about 2,500 staff. Its primary function is providing scientific advice and technical know-how to support EU policies.

The headquarters is in Brussels and the Centre runs eight different institutes, on five separate sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain - dealing with such matters as "reference materials and measurements", environment, space applications, health and consumer protection and "prospective technological studies". Activities range from assessing safety standards for toys and improved biomaterials for hip implants, and new technologies for recycling water and the use of satellite systems to monitor land use and deforestation.

Its role in the EU "network" however, is fulfilled by its involvement in a wide range of collaborative projects, working with over 800 different research and other organisations throughout the EU. It is involved in collaboration agreements with research organisations, universities and private industries. Additionally, of its staff of nearly 2,500, only just over 700 are on permanent contracts, the rest comprising "temporary agents" on 1-3 year contracts, visiting scientists, post-graduate and post-doctoral researchers and seconded national experts. This floating population comes from all over the EU - "bright and able scientists" - creating a network of alumni, all of whom have worked on building the "project".

In fact, that is exactly what is happening. In 1996, a group of Marie Curie fellows launched the Marie Curie Fellowship Association (MCFA) to "strengthen the identity of Marie Curie Fellows as mobile European researchers at the forefront of science". Its broader aim is "to advance science in Europe through organisation of high-profile thematic and scientific events, and interdisciplinary discussion forums". In May 1998, the MCFA received a one-year grant from the European Commission and by September of the same year was boasting 1050 registered members. EU support is continuing.

Other Associations

A completely different type of body, another which claims to be "independent", is the National Foundation for Educational Research, which undertakes "research and development projects in all sectors of the public education system". However, it hosts the EURYDYCE Unit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the "education information network for Europe", funded by the European Commission. It is also a member of the "network" calling itself "Partnerships Against Social Exclusion", also funded by the European Commission, and is an "Ortelius" National Agency, a "database on higher education at a European level", again funded by the European Commission.

Then there is EGOS, the European Group for Organisational Studies, which describes itself as a "professional association of teachers and researchers acting as a network for the advancement of organisational knowledge". It declares that one of its important aims is "…to be a potential partner for the EU authorities concerned with academic and educational topics". The organisation "follows up the political dimension of academic work within Europe according to programmes and other activities initiated by the European Union" and aims to "…contribute to the design of future programmes on a European level", not least of which must be the development of a common EU schools syllabus.

Yet another in this proliferation of associations is the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), founded in 1983. Its aim is to "provide decision-makers, inside and outside government, with authoritative and independent analysis of European affairs; to provide a forum for discussion to stakeholders in the European policy process; and to create a network of leaders committed to the development of European integration and cooperation". Its research is structured around two "heads": economic policy and politics, institutions and society, carried out by a team of research fellows, including Michael Ludlow, founding director, and Michael Emerson, also senior research fellow - at the London School of Economics.

There are also specialist or sectoral organisations, such as the European Consumer Law Group (ECLG), directly funded by DG SANCO. This is a group of "lawyers and law scholars" established in London in March 1997 "with the purpose of strengthening links between practitioners and researchers involved into (sic) the legal promotion of consumer interests in their respective countries". The group consists of two members from each member state, one from the "university world" and the second from a consumer organisation or consumer agency. Its aim is to "convince all actors involved in European consumer law and policy-making, such as national and Community authorities, and trade and industry, by argument and legal reasoning".

Also brought into the fold are research managers and administrators, who in Italy in January 1995, banded together to form EARMA - the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators, another organisation "…to promote the effectiveness of European Research". EARMA has been recognised by the Commission which has chosen it to present the view of managers and administrators on the white paper "Towards a European Research Area".

Needless to say, the students have not been left out. They have their own association, known as AEGEE. Founded in 1985 in Paris as the Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l'Europe, it now has over 20,000 members in 200 cities all over Europe. It styles itself as "the student organisation that promotes the idea of a unified Europe" and regards the European institutions as "natural parties for AEGEE in the neverending (sic) quest to speed up integration". With its "Summer Universities" and a programme of "larger scale conferences" and "fun activities" including "cooking, parties or pub crawls, and also sports, like a skiing weekend or a border crossing bike trip", the "European minded finds in AEGEE an almost perfect environment to learn and act for the European ideal".

Funding

The budget for previous framework programme, FP5 was €14.96 billion (nearly £10 billion), for the four years 1999-2002. The sixth framework had grown to €17.5 billion, covering the period 2003-2006. Funds will be disbursed to a wide variety of agencies - including research institutes and industry - but higher education is the major beneficiary. The allocation is substantial.

Determining the exact amount of funding received by higher education in the UK is not possible. A feature of the funding system is that there is no single programme or mechanism of disbursement. Money flows from a variety of programmes and Directions General. It can be paid in the form of grants to individual students or researchers, or for specific activities or research projects. Thus, despite its it self-proclaimed commitment to "transparency", the Commission is by no means transparent about the extent of its funding to the education sector, much less higher education.

Nor even is DG Research's budget by any means the full extent of the funding. Although this directorate may be responsible for a substantial proportion of Community funding directed at higher education, virtually all DGs "top slice" their budgets, apportioning significant sums to research and policy development, much of which are directed at higher education establishments or individuals within that sector. It is by no means clear, therefore, that DG Research accounts for the bulk of funds paid to higher education.

Other significant funding sources are the EU Structural Funds, of which the European Social Fund (ESF) is one. In the current expenditure period, from an overall budget which accounts for one third of Community expenditure, €12 billion was set aside for research and technological development between 1989 and 1999, with €8.5 billion being allocated for the years 1994-1999, spending averaging €1.7 billion a year for that period. The budget is to be considerably enhanced, from Structural Funds of €195 billion allocated for the period 2000-20006. A considerable amount of that funding is being directed to the European Employment Strategy and related schemes to cut unemployment.

In the UK, the focus on employment translates into a massive opportunity for education establishments, in the form of two schemes: "EMPLOYMENT" and "ADAPT". The first scheme requires, as the first two of four categories, the development of "training, guidance, counselling and employment systems" and the "delivery of training".

Under the "third round" of ADAPT, 178 projects have been shared out between private companies and institutes of further and higher education. The bulk of work has gone to higher education, in preparation for a larger scheme called "University for Industry". This aims to establish 248 "learning centres" to teach some 7,250 full time "learners" basic skills which will increase their employment potential. Some £20.25 million is being allocated by the British government to this scheme, of which the ESF is paying roughly half. The bulk of the money flowing into academia, however, is being allocated to further, rather than higher, education establishments.

Then, apart from the Jean Monnet Project, separate grants from DG Education and Culture are available for "the support of European integration activities organised by academic institutions and other organisations", with a budget for the year 2000 of €1.5 million. The maximum sum available for any single project is €100,000, representing 50 percent of eligible costs. Priority is being given to projects on enlargement, the euro and those which "have the potential to mobilise, publicise and disseminate information", much of which are managed by academic institutions.

Managed by DG XI, Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection, is a separate programme called "LIFE", "a financial instrument for three major areas of action: Environment, Nature and Third Countries". The sum is subdivided into 47 percent for nature conservation (Life-Nature), 47 percent for the "integration of the environment in the context of economic activities and land-use development (Life-Environment) and 6 percent for technical assistance to Mediterranean third countries and Baltic Russia (other than candidate countries). In each component, five percent of the budget is set aside for "accompanying measures", i.e., expert reports, monitoring, dissemination of results, exchange of experience and preparation of multinational reports, some of the funding for which finds its way into academia.

This project also attracts national funding from participating countries. Now in its third phase, as "LIFE III", the Community budget is €613 million for the period 2000 to 2004. This programme aims to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of Community environmental policy and of environmental legislation. In particular, the programme "focuses on the integration of the environment into other policies and to sustainable development in the Community".

This programme has spawned a host of subsidiary projects, all of bewildering complexity. One such, entitled "Coupling of CORNAIR data to cost-effective emission reduction strategies based on critical thresholds" has four EU countries participating. Demonstrating its role in the legislative process, one of the key objectives of this project is "preparatory actions to support community legislation and policies".

The Education and Culture DG also has its own research programme, aptly named "Culture 2000". Its objectives are to: "make best use of a European area within which the free movement of people, services and capital are insured (sic); promote cultural heritage of European significance and the creation of new forms of cultural expression; and contribute to the democratisation of culture, to the particular benefit of young people and the socially and economically disadvantaged".

Funding of €7.1 million was available from DG SANCO (Health and Consumer Protection) for co-financing some 60 projects related to promoting and protecting consumer interests in 1999, but the Commission is expecting that calls in the year 2000 will "open up more incisive and more effective action", leading to an increased budget. Initiatives and studies on offer include the creation of a campaign on food safety in the member states, and the co-ordination of this campaign, "action to collect data on doubtful vocational training…", research efforts on the toxicology of bis (dichloroprophyl) ether isomer, the study of "Community law and the information society", and many more, all of which might be expected to excite interest from academic institutions.

DG Agriculture (formerly DG VI) also provides significant research funding. An important conduit is the LEADER programme, the initiative for rural development. No specific budget allocation for research can be identified but it is clear that a number of higher education establishments benefit from research funding under this programme. Under LEADER II, for instance, the Arkleton Centre, at Aberdeen University, is co-ordinating a scheme involving institutes in Sweden, Norway and Finland, to "document and transfer knowledge of sustainable rural development in the Northern Periphery". The University of Newcastle upon Tyne's Centre for Rural Economy is carrying out a research project on "Cultural identity in social and economic development, evaluation methodology for participative development and analysis of territorial policy initiatives", led by Dr Christopher Ray.

In April 2000, the Commission approved a new phase, LEADER+, to which the Community contribution for the period 2000-2006 will be €2.02 billion. From these funds, there will be substantial contributions to research activities. The bulk of agriculture projects, however, seem to have been absorbed into the FP5 programme, under the title FAIR, incorporating different projects under four "areas", many of them associated with BSE. However, €20 million is available for "genetic resources in agriculture".

Additionally, the Directorates General for Enterprise, Fisheries, Transport and Energy, all have research responsibilities, and funding available. One programme from DG Energy alone (THERMIE) was budgeted for €577 million between 1995-8, while for its SYNERGY programme, the budget for 1999 was €7 million.

To all that must be added cumulatively significant amounts from research funding from other DGs, including the Jean Monnet Project, and the UK share of external aid programmes - PHARE, TACIS, OBNOVA, MEDA, AAL, EDF, etc - none of which can be quantified. Then there are the funds allocated from EUREKA and under programmes co-ordinated by COST and the European Science Foundation.

Precisely how much of that money finds its way into directly and indirectly into UK higher education institutions is not quantified. Even if it were possible to ascertain how much was paid directly from EU coffers to individual establishments, this in itself would not be an accurate guide. Because of the collaborative, multi-national nature of much of the funding, grants and fees are paid directly to lead institutions, which in turn are responsible for disbursing funds to participating institutions. Therefore, some of the funds paid to an Italian university, for instance, might be paid to a British institution, and vice versa. Then, a significant amount is paid to businesses and research establishments, but much of that finds its way into higher education.

Nevertheless, as a rough but fairly secure estimate, it appears that the UK attracts about ten percent of contracts - by value - from research programmes. This reflects the size of the UK economy relative to the EU as a whole, and it would be unremarkable if the EU ensured that funds were distributed on the basis of the relative economic size of its members. Accordingly, given a rough ten-percent share of the FP6 and Structural Funds, the amount of direct EU funding to the UK would amount to €500 million annually (£300 million).

Then, most of the programmes require co-financing or individual contributions, so multiplying the value of projects. Contributions from UK institutions vary from 35-100 percent of eligible costs - which invariably amount to less than total costs - so it is not unreasonable again to work on the basis of average contributions in the order of 50 percent. Thus, when co-financing is added, the sum available as a result of EU intervention doubles to €1 billion. On this basis, it can be estimated that at least £600 million annually is flowing into the UK higher education system as a result of directly funded EU projects. Estimating £40-60,000 per academic employed, this would amount to an EU-funded cadre of some 10-15,000 personnel in the UK, mainly researchers, teachers and postgraduates.

Personal funding

EU funding is not just disbursed to university departments. Individuals in higher education can take advantage of a number of schemes. Best known of these is the Socrates-Erasmus programme, which provides funding for exchange visits for students throughout the EU. The programme aims to improve the quality and the "European dimension" of higher education. The Commission has also developed its Socrates II initiative on "lifelong learning", to which funding of €1,850 million has been allocated.

Additionally, there is the new European "Youth" programme, which includes in its aims the creation of "…a greater sense of solidarity among young people", and teaching them "active involvement in the European ideal".

Then there are the Leonardo mobility projects. Leonardo II enables 30,000 "Europeans" to participate in trans-national placements or exchanges. Currently, only the 15 member states and the three European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) can participate. However, the new succession countries are now being allowed to join, raising the number of countries to 30 and the budget to €69.5 million.

Less well known outside the circles of academia is the system of Marie Curie Fellowships, available though the Training and Mobility of Researchers programme under the 5th Framework Programme. This scheme funds, through a variety of mechanisms, posts for young and experienced researchers, with special provisions for less favoured areas and bursaries for young researchers from developing countries. There is also a category of fellowship which enables post-graduates and post-doctoral researchers to work in an industrial or commercial environment, promoting links between academia and industry, something which the Commission is particularly anxious to foster.

In a separate category are the Jean Monnet Fellowships, which are awarded for "the pursuit or continuance of post-doctoral research with no heavy teaching obligations" in the area of European integration. A monthly stipend of €1,200 to €2,000 is offered for academics to carry out research in the European University Institute in Florence, in one of three major categories: comparative research in a European perspective; research on the European Union or on a topic of interest for the development of Europe; or fundamental research, providing it relates to an innovative subject of importance in one of the disciplines contributing to the development of Europe's cultural and academic heritage.

Postgraduate grants of €898 a month for up to three years are also available to study law, economics, history or social and political science. This programme is hailed as "one of the largest structured doctoral programmes in the world in these disciplines".

Jobs, in fact, are the main draw for academics, with hundreds, if not thousands of research posts on offer from a variety of Community sources. The equivalent of 1,100 full time research posts were created under the system of Marie Curie fellowships in 1998 and, apart of the regular flow of vacancies at the JRC institutes, the FP5 programme also offers a number of temporary research posts. Some 950 researchers were trained in the "research networks" activity and the grants awarded directly under the "thematic programmes" under the 4th Framework Programme, also in 1998.

In addition, there are many more job opportunities in national institutes throughout Europe, all made possible as a result of EU funding or EU-inspired schemes, and there are thousands of posts available to graduates in industry and commerce - as well as commercial and government research establishments, all financed under EU or related schemes.

But research is not the only opportunity. For each research programme, there must be managers and these are recruited from the academic community. The 5th Framework Programme is offering "Expert Monitoring" posts - experts to monitor the execution of projects - and "Expert Candidature" posts, the people who evaluate proposals received in response to calls for project proposals. In all, about 5,000 academics - of which nearly 500 are British - are retained by the Commission for these purposes, the list running to 97 closely printed pages.

Posts are also available on the plethora of Scientific Committees run by the Commission. For instance, DG SANCO (Health and Consumer Protection) appoints eight scientific committees, each with 19 members, to advise on consumer health and food safety. The 152 members each draw €300 a day for attendance at plenary meetings, for membership of working groups and for drawing up draft scientific recommendations. Travel and accommodation expenses are also paid "in accordance with the rules laid down by the Commission".

Membership entails a "significant workload", with meetings in plenary session between five and ten times a year. If participation in working groups, etc., is added, members might expect annual incomes in excess of €3,000 a year, normally paid on top of full-time academic salaries. More senior members of the academic community might expect to be appointed to the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC), where the daily rate for plenary meetings rises to €350 per day. Members of the SSC can also chair other committees, for which they receive the normal payments.

Candidates who fail to be appointed are placed on a "list of experts", to be called upon if a committee member resigns. This list is also used if the Committee requires ad hoc work.

Then, membership of a Jean Monnet "centre of excellence" creates additional opportunities. For instance, Noreen Burrows, Jean Monnet Professor of European Law at the School of Law University of Glasgow, advertised on her website in May 2002 that she had received information about an invitation to tender from the Committee of the Regions for the provision of expert academic advice to the Committee. This, she announced, was a "restricted invitation" to tender, open to all members her Centre. The CoR was looking for four experts, who would be expected to attend up to 20 meetings and prepare written memos for members on a number of subjects. Payments of €6000 were on offer. Thus does the gravy-train roll.

Additionally, there is a range of prestigious academic awards, such as the Descartes and Archimedes Prizes. The former is awarded for "outstanding scientific and technological achievements resulting from European collaborative research", while the Archimedes Prize recognises undergraduate students in European higher education institutes who have developed original scientific ideas or concepts in areas which advance European science. Each prize is worth €50,000, from a budget of €450,000.

Multiplying the investment

Although the framework programmes represent large sums of money at only three percent of the Community budget, in comparative terms the expenditure is relatively small, contrasted with the "big-spender" programmes such as the CAP - even though it the third largest single item of Community expenditure.

But the actual sums devoted to research, under the control of the EU, are considerably more than the figures which appear in the Community budget - by a factor of many times. With some considerable skill, the Commission has learned to spread and amplify its funds, so much so that, in 1995, from a four-year budget of €13.22 billion, the money went to some 12,000 institutions but, by 1998 - with only a marginal increase in funding - it financed 28,000.

What made the difference was a new strategy by the Commission, the "shared-cost actions", whereby EU funds were used as "pump-primers", topped up and often exceeded by contributions from member states and participating institutions. Currently, about 90 percent of financial contributions from the Community are "matched" in this way, permitting the funding of some 90,000 researchers in the EU.

The real genius, however - if it can be called that - is in subsuming national programmes (and finance) to the "European" agenda. This is done in part through an organisation little-known outside academia, called "European Co-operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research" or COST. This is described as an "intergovernmental framework for European co-operation in the field of scientific and technical research" and its function is to co-ordinate nationally funded research activity on a European level.

COST was set up by ministerial conference in 1971 and its "goal" is to "ensure Europe holds a strong position in the field of scientific and technical research for peaceful purposes, by increasing European co-operation and interaction in this field". According to the organisation's own annual report (1999), "It has been successfully used to maximise European synergy and is a useful tool to further European integration, especially concerning Eastern and Central European countries".

There are 32 participating countries, including all 15 EU member states, but EU involvement is central to the operation, with the Commission providing the secretariat.

As COST is a co-ordination agency, it does not fund research activities. Instead, it supports "actions" (currently over 150), which are networks of co-ordinated national research projects, funded directly by member states - and on occasions by the EU - in fields which are of interest to a minimum number of participants (at least five) from different member states. These "actions" involve nearly 30,000 scientists from the 32 member countries and more that 50 participating institutions from 11 non-member countries. Participation is on an à la carte basis, subject to a national approval and evidence of existing activity. Activities are administered by national representatives on a committee of senior officials, "helped" by the European Commission's technical secretariat.

In all, COST represents an estimated volume of UK national funding of more than €1.5 billion per year. This funding is used to cover co-ordination expenditures such as contributions to workshops and conferences, travel costs for meetings, contributions to publications and short-term scientific missions of researches to visit other laboratories.

An average of €50,000 to €60,000 is available for each "action" and the EU expenditure represents 0.5 percent of the overall national funding. This it regards as "excellent value for money" as indeed it might. Much of the technical work carried out under the aegis of COST appears to be the development of specifications and criteria which can be used for the basis of EU legislation, or is directed to resolving specific problems of direct relevance to Community projects, funded with member state rather than EU money.

EUREKA

Another way for the EU to use member states' money has been devised in the form of the EUREKA project. This was established by a Conference of Ministers of 17 countries and Members of the European Commission, meeting in Paris on 17 July 1985. The resultant Declaration, outlining the principles of the EUREKA framework, was approved at the Ministerial Conference in Hanover on November 6 1985. Ministers of eighteen countries and the European Commission agreed closer co-operation "among enterprises and research institutes in the field of advanced technologies, the productivity and competitiveness of Europe's industries and national economies on the world market".

It was intended to enable Europe "to master and exploit the technologies that are important for its future, and to build up its capability in crucial areas", to be achieved by "encouraging and facilitating increased industrial, technological and scientific co-operation on projects directed at developing products, processes and services which have world-wide market potential and which are based on advanced technologies".

The Department of Trade & Industry, which runs the scheme in the UK, states that it is "a pan-European network for encouraging near-market, collaborative R&D projects which lead to the development of advanced products, processes or services". It now involves organisations from twenty-nine European countries.

Funding is provided by member states for up to fifty percent of eligible costs for research projects which must include a minimum of two independent organisations from two member countries, hence fulfilling the primary EU policy objective of furthering integration. In the UK, any UK-registered country, research organisation or higher education institution is eligible. Europe-wide, about 150 projects a year are being administered, ranging from the 100+ partner, €3.8 billion Joint European Submicron Silicon Initiative project (JESSI), and its successor MEDEA, to two-partner feasibility projects involving less than €1 million.

Although, as the DTI touchingly points out, "It is not an EU programme", EUREKA is directed by a "Ministerial Conference" composed of one minister per country and a representative from the European Commission. Its international secretariat is housed in Brussels, where the EUREKA database in maintained and project information is distributed. The EU helps finance this secretariat and supports research linked to some forty EUREKA projects. All projects must be approved in principle by the Commission and must conform with EU competition rules. To all intents and purposes, the scheme belongs to the EU. The member states simply pay the bills.

The European Research Area (ERA)

If there was ever any doubt as to the true purpose of EU expenditure on research, the real agenda became transparent in the year 2000, when the Commission commenced the debate for what was to become the 6th Framework Programme. This was to cover the period 2003-2006 and, from just under €14 billion, expenditure was to rise to €17.5 billion.

But, this time, the Commission did not just announce plans for a "framework programme". The policy had now become the creation of a "European Research Area". Although the Commission's proposals (COM(2000)6) paid lip-service to the need for research expenditure - arguing that "Europe" was being left behind in the international technological race, with the difference between research spending in the US and Europe amounting to €60 billion in 1998, as against €12 billion in 1992, with the trade balance in high tech products showing a deficit of €20 billion a year in Europe over the past ten years - the real concern was elsewhere.

What preoccupied the Commission was the "fragmentation, isolation and compartmentalisation" of national research efforts and systems. It concluded that "decompartmentalisation and better integration of Europe's scientific and technological area is an indispensable condition for invigorating research in Europe". Its solution was: "…a real European research policy needs to be defined".

The Commission also noted that "research plays a central role in the implementation of public policy and is also at the heart of the policy-making process" and is looking for "a common system of scientific and technical reference for policy implementation", developing the research needed for policy-making and aligning "research undertaken by the Commission on (sic) the concerns of citizens and decision-makers".

At the core of its proposals, the Commission expressed the need for "More co-ordinated implementation of national and European research programmes", arguing that it should "…play the role of initiator and catalyst by providing the member states with the logistical means and legal instruments best suited to co-ordinating research activities undertaken in Europe".

Shepherding the proposal through the European Parliament was Gérard Caudron, a French socialist MEP, who acted as rapporteur. In a debate on 14 November 2001, he further clarified the real agenda, telling the assembly: "…we need to act upon the idea of European added value, as proposed by the European Commission… the added value of giving research a European dimension".

That "dimension" was given approval on the 14th May 2002 at the second reading and was subsequently approved by the Council of Ministers at the conclusion of the Spanish presidency. Cauldon, in the debate of 14 May 2002, expressed his "genuine pride" that the policy had been approved by the Parliament, while the Commissioner for DG Research, Phillipe Busquin, commended MEPs on their speed in getting his proposal through, noting that: "This is what both researchers and European citizens will thank us for".

Discussion

If "European citizens" really understood what the Commission was seeking to achieve with its research funding, and its "European Research Area", it is probable that many of them would not be as quick to proffer their thanks as Busquin seems to think is the case.

The grounds for so believing are simple. When the public has experienced high profile "common" policies, such as the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy - where the adverse effects have been visible and much debated - public response has, in the main, been negative. It is hard to find, even amongst staunch Europhiles, supporters for either of these policies.

Yet, in the "European Research Area" and its associated framework programmes, is in everything but name a "Common Research Policy", almost as fully developed as the agricultural and fisheries policies. But this fact is simply not so well appreciated and, in the absence of that appreciation, there is very little public debate on the take-over, or understanding of its effects.

Yet, this take-over is real. Its extent can actually be measured by reference to relative expenditures. In Britain, research - mainly carried out in higher education establishments - is directly funded by government to the order of £900 million annually, channelled by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, through its six research councils. EU funding delivers £300 million a year but, with co-financing, absorbs probably at least £300 million of research council funds. Thus, projects under the direct and immediate control of the EU amount to £600 million, leaving £600 million in the gift of the research councils. In other words, overt EU controlled funds and national expenditure are running at parity.

However, as demonstrated in this paper, this is by no means the whole story. Through the European Science Foundation, COST, EUREKA, and other co-ordinating bodies, much of the funding delivered through the research councils is also controlled by the EU. Schemes funded by the UK and other member states are increasingly being integrated into the 5th, and soon the 6th Framework Programme, a fact adequately demonstrated by a Council Decision in 1999 - adopting the 5th Framework Programme - which stated:

Full use will be made of the possibilities offered by COST and Eureka and by co-operation with international organisations to foster synergy between actions and projects in this programme and nationally funded research activities. In the case of co-operation with Eureka, projects corresponding to themes of common interest with the framework programme may be developed in the context of key actions in conformity with the selection criteria and procedures of the framework programme.

To all intents and purposes, EU and national funding are seamless entities - or set to become so, under the control of the EU and its allied institutions. Research is indeed a "common policy".

In purely mechanistic terms, this should give some cause for concern. In the way of these massive "one-size-fits-all" EU policies, they are difficult to administer, cumbersome in application, inflexible, expensive, and prone to fraud. The Court of Auditors has already expressed its reservations over the management and accountability of research funds and it must be remembered that it was Commissioner Edith Cresson, awarding funds to her live-in dentist for non-existent research into AIDS, that precipitated the resignation of the last Commission. It would not be at all surprising if, proportionately, fraud presented as much a problem in the Common Research Policy as it did with the CAP.

For the many researchers who are less than willing beneficiaries of EU funding, they have different complaints. They lament that applications for grant funding have become bogged down in "red tape". The process of obtaining and administering funds is often more time-consuming than the work it finances. Many senior researchers have ceased to take active roles in research, devoting their time instead to administration. All too often, those funds are conditional on multinational involve-ment, involving the creation of groups from several universities in different EU countries, this being the more important requirement than the nature of the research. Cumbersome, artificial groups are thus created, which add complexity, expense and delay to the research process. For many academics, "European" involvement is far from an unalloyed good.

But then, research is the secondary objective. EU involvement is political in nature, and overtly so. This is clearly revealed in an interview with Vivian Reding, the Commissioner for Education and Culture who, in late 1999, told the Commission-funded Eur-op News that those who take part in the activities supported by EU programmes "are much more likely to realise how much Europe has to offer them". Creating a "European dimension" is the primary objective, even to the extent that the quality of the research often seems to be of little importance, as long as it is European research.

That is one of the more important issues. While expending considerable resources on research, effectively, the UK no longer has an independent research policy. Successive governments have ceded control to the EU and scrutiny now lies outside the remit of the British Parliament, beyond democratic control. If that, in itself, is a cause for concern - and it certainly should be - there is an even more sinister and alarming element. This stems from the simple precept, "he who pays the pipe, calls the tune". In that academia is almost completely reliant on public funding, and that funding is now controlled by the EU, effectively, the master of academia has become the EU.

For "academia", one can substitute "intelligentsia", an old-fashioned term with continental connotations, but one that encompasses the intellectual elite - of which academia comprises the greater part. That elite, wedded to public subsidies to every much the same extent as farmers and other "subsidy junkies", is now beholden not to its own government for continued largess, but to the EU. Its loyalties have been, to a degree hitherto unrecognised, transferred to an unelected, supranational entity that is driven by an ideology which has as its objective the marginalisation of the nation state. The elite has been "bought and paid for" by an alien power. That its members do indeed form an intellectual "fifth column" in our midst is indisputable.

The worst of it is that this situation has arisen without the public being fully or even at all aware of it and, therefore, without a democratic mandate. As elsewhere, one has to ask whether those who voted "yes" in the 1975 referendum on remaining in what was then called the "Common Market" would have cast their votes in the way they did had they known the outcome.

To coin a phrase, this is of more than academic importance. All parties to the narrowly-focused and limited debate on "Europe" share the concern at the lack of wider public engagement in that debate. Yet, in any national debate, the "intelligentsia" should be playing a leading role, expanding, shaping and informing the arguments. Here, the EU take-over exerts a particularly malign influence through its Jean Monnet programme. It controls what is taught and the access to information on the EU. University staff and students at all levels are not encouraged - or afforded the opportunity - to debate or explore the rationale for the EU. Its existence and legitimacy is taken as a "given" and the only debate, therefore, is on the shape of the EU to come.

Nowhere, in the torrent of papers emanating from Jean Monnet courses, on the conference agendas, in the publications that pour from the word processors of Jean Monnet professors, will you find any reasoned (or any) arguments as to why the UK should leave the EU, why the euro should not replace the pound, why Euroscepticism is a legitimate and honourable political activity. You will not find Eurosceptics - prominent or otherwise - invited as guest lecturers on Jean Monnet courses, you will not find Eurosceptic tracts used as core teaching material (except for the purposes of rebuttal) and you will not find UK Independence Party MEPs addressing Jean Monnet conferences. The "debate" is totally one-sided. It is, therefore, not a debate. It is propaganda, paid for by the British taxpayer, delivered by academics who - as was seen from the examples of their work in the British media - purport to be objective and impartial, but who are not.

If propaganda is one result of EU intervention, there is another, a negative function which probably represents the greatest harm done. The outward effect of this is the extraordinary policy vacuum at the heart of the body politic, affecting both the government and the opposition, where all parties seem to be bereft of any original or imaginative ideas to deal with the manifest problems affecting society.

At first sight, this would appear to have nothing to do with the EU, but any such assessment would be wrong. Essentially, policy development, "clear blue thinking", "thinking the unthinkable" and much of the creative work from which stems working policies, arise from or in conjunction with academic institutes. That is very much the case with the EU, where the European Institute and the network of Jean Monnet professors, and other academics, are consulted by the Commission on all matters of high policy. The Commission even runs its own "think tank" called the Forward Studies Unit, staffed in the main by academics. Its common mode of operation is to set up "workshops" attended by leading academics, to offer advice and to develop and test policy initiatives.

Therein lies the problem. The brightest minds in political science and allied disciplines, in a whole range of policy development areas, and other matters of vital concern to policy-makers, are working directly or indirectly on pursuing the "European dimension". The reason for this is quite simple - again it is a question of money. Any researcher wishing to research specific policy issues, whether they affect the environment, food safety, farming, "sustainable development", or even political theory, would find it very had to attract funding unless the work has that "European dimension". Courtesy of the EU virtual monopoly on research funding, that is the way the system is now structured.

On the other hand, anyone who wished, say, to work up environmental policy issues of strictly national application, the objective of which was to discredit or provide an alternative to EU policy, would simply not get the funding. Furthermore, there would be no point in attempting such a project. Since so many policy areas are now wholly or mainly EU competences, a strictly national approach would have little or no chance of being implemented. No half-way intelligent researcher, with ambitions of seeing their work recognised, would want to indulge in such an activity. It would simply not be a career enhancing move.

By the same token, those few, foolhardy souls who insist on carrying what might be deemed as "anti-EU" research are poorly funded and resourced, lack the critical mass of co-researchers and tend to excluded from "mainstream" (i.e., EU-funded) academic circles. There are no funds for conferences, no subsidised papers or web-sites and there is no institutional support. A form of ostracism prevails and few but the most dedicated - with no ambitions of mainstream careers - dare to embark on this route

Politically, the significance of this is profound. In the absence of a steady stream nationally-orientated policy ideas, contrasted with the flow of ideas on "European" themes, the EU is seen as the "only game in town". This reinforces the myth that the future lies with "Europe" and lends credence to propaganda that there is no alternative to membership of the EU. As ordinary people become steadily more disillusioned by the policy vacuum, "Europe" wins the game by default.

To those of us who have studied the ways of the EU, all of this has a weary familiarity. The insistence of the EU on cross-border collaboration between universities - making funding conditional on such arrangements - exactly parallels its regional policy, where funds are made conditional on cross-border co-operation. What is happening in academia is a variation on the theme of "perforated sovereignty", whereby sub-national organisations are encouraged to build contacts with like organisations in other member states, by-passing their national governments and thus diminishing their authority.

Then, by Europeanising the research effort, the EU is promoting the doctrine of "interdependence", whereby member state activities are so intermeshed that nations no longer retain an independent capability to act or make decisions - or even policy - in key strategic areas. This stems from the founding ethos of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1950, where the pooling of strategic industries and vesting control of them in a supranational authority was intended to remove from national control the ability to act independently. In the words of the Schuman declaration at the time, war between France and Germany would become not merely unthinkable, but "materially impossible". In a world where the strategic emphasis has moved from reliance on heavy industries to a "knowledge-based economy", it is entirely logical and consistent that the Commission should seek to "pool" intellectual capacity and remove it from the control of individual member states.

At yet another level, the commission is also acting consistently, within its overall policy objectives. The creation of a trans-national clientele dependent on the EU - particularly one as important as the intellectual elites of the member states - is a deliberate measure to foster the development of a European civil society, one that does not recognise the territorially-based concept of sovereignty, and blurs the distinction between "internal" and "foreign". This is part of the building of a European "demos" which the Commission hopes will eventually legitimise, ex post facto, the establishment of supranational governance.

Finally, by creating structures which rely heavily on co-financing and on intergovernmental "co-operation" - where the co-operation is in fact control by EU institutions - the Commission is neatly circumventing the budgetary restrictions imposed on it, opening a substantial line of additional financing from member states, without it appearing in the formal EU budget. The special irony of this is that the Commission makes considerable use of the academic system to research and develop policy which it then incorporates into legislation, that development having been funded primarily from member state research allocations rather than from EU funds. By that means - using academics who do not appear on the payroll - the EU is able to understate the number of personnel engaged in its governmental activities, claiming that it has fewer staff than a medium-sized English local authority.

All of this makes the take-over of academia considerably more important than just the question of who funds research. The aphorism "he who pays the piper calls the tune" is every bit as valid as when it was first minted, and the EU, in paying these particular pipers (using our money) is indeed calling the tunes. In fact, there is only one tune - political integration. In controlling the research effort, the EU controls academia and, in so doing, advances its integration agenda, steadily eroding the independence of the nation states. That the academic community should apparently co-operate so readily - or apparently not realise what is happening - is a measure of our "brightest and best". Perhaps they are not that bright. And when, as is the case with the Jean Monnet project, they sell themselves so cheaply, there should be considerable cause for alarm.

Action to stop EU propaganda
a. The EC must adopt guidelines similar to those of the UK Government on what constitutes legitimate advertising and information campaigns. The key principles to be entrenched in such rules include a commitment to impartiality and objectivity. MEPs sitting on the budget and budgetary control committees supervising such expenditure should conduct an annual review.

Public funding to organisations campaigning for the UK's entry into the Euro must be stopped and such overtly political organisations should have to attract private funding for their activities. The fact that many pro-euro/EU organisations use taxpayers' money subverts the debate on the future of Europe. Those organisations should have their accounts thoroughly audited by the European Court of Auditors to uncover the full extent of this misuse of public funds. The final figure should be made public and such monies handed back to the European Union.

b. Here in the UK, we recommend that an independent watchdog be established to monitor such activities, ideally in conjunction with the ITC/Broadcasting Complaints Commission, and the Parliamentary Ombudsmen in Westminster and Brussels. This post should be accountable to Parliament and based upon, or incorporated into, the Electoral Commission. It will have the following remit:

  • To monitor the budget of the European Union to uncover spending on propagandist activities.
  • To report publicly upon such misuses of taxpayers' money.
  • The code of conduct for British civil service communication departments represents the ideal yardstick by which EU communications should be interpreted.
  • To have the power to instruct the withdrawal of material publicised by the Communities or the Government which is in breach of the above.

c. The UK Government should wind up its National Change Over Plan. In future the Civil Service must ensure any information is balanced and does not fail to inform businesses of the costs that they will incur if the single currency is adopted and the damage the Euro could do to the economy and their business.

d. UK Secretary of State for Education Estelle Morris should write to schools, colleges and Higher Education establishments to remind them of the requirement that teaching on European issues be balanced. In particular she should remind them that Section 409 of the Education Act 1996 allows for a legal process to redress any breaches of the Act. The Education department should make available a list of organisations that can be approached for speakers and information on European issues, and make it clear that eurosceptic sources should be provided if EU-produced teaching guides are being used.

e. The use by the European Union of ambient marketing and subliminal advertising to create a sense of European citizenship should be ended. By this, we mean the EU's emblem and sycophantic statements that are so often plastered over projects that the EU supposedly funds, town twinning exercises, or the appearance of the EU flag on driving licences and car number-plates. A Ten Minute Rule Bill would suffice, requiring, for instance, that reference to EU budget lines paying for public works be accompanied by a caveat spelling out the UK net contribution to the EU budget for that year; that EU logos be accompanied by the Union Flag.