The European Commission today launched its annual initiative to help trade unions involved in pan EU dialogue.
The "Promotion of Active Citizenship" initiative aims to assist cross-industry trade unions participating in European social dialogue in areas relating to the promotion of active European citizenship.
The initiative also aims to bring citizens closer to the EU institutions and involve them in reflection and discussion on the construction of the European Union.
Ironically then UKIP's Nigel Farage, who spends his days in Brussels complaining that the people of Europe are being ignored, was first to criticise the initiative.
"This is a transparent use of our money to persuade us to do things we don't want to do", said Farage.
"Looking at the grants that have been offered to Trade Unions in this project in the past, it is obvious that hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers cash are to be doled out to fund meetings where trade unionists meet other trade unionists in order to say how wonderful they are and more importantly how important the EU is in ensuring regressive economic policy."
Once again, it seems that Farage has missed the point of the EU's intentions. By reinforcing the EU social model it will be ensured that the Member States do not off load the social responsibilities of their welfare states, which in turn would mean off loading part of their sovereignty.
Moreover, the initiative encourages active contribution to the EU's future direction- something which UKIP supporters should welcome.
Source: IND/DEM Group