经济学人:欧盟预算 布鲁塞尔的贪食者
日期:2015-11-27 17:14



The European Union budget
The gourmands of Brussels
The EU may be spending less, but the cost of running it is rising
THE European Union is on the verge of cutting its spending for the first time ever. A 3% cut in real terms will save 34 billion ($47 billion) from the seven-year budget framework for 2014-20. ForBritain’s David Cameron, who pressed the hardest for a cut, this is a triumph. But every silver lining has a cloud: EU spending on administration will still rise, by a total of 8% in real terms.

The sums involved are relatively small: the total budget is only 1% of EU GDP, and just 6% of this goes on administration. Yet it has political resonance. Taxpayers do not like paying for civil servants at the best of times. Spending more onBrusselsbureaucrats at a time of deep recession and high unemployment is even harder to swallow.
A European Commission spokesman likens EU governments to a restaurant customer who wants more, better and cheaper food. But the EU institutions could do more and better for less. There is plenty of fat to trim: generous tax breaks, far higher average pay than in national governments and benefits that include a 16% expat top-up and payment for children’s education until they are 26.
欧盟委员会一发言人将欧盟政府比作餐馆的食客,他们想要更多品质更好的食物,却希望价格更便宜。但是欧盟机构可以做到这一点。因为有很多地方可以“瘦身”:慷慨地减免所得税,远比国家政府高的平均工资水平以及优渥的福利待遇,这里的福利包括在国外工作的人追加16%的补贴,对欧盟官员子女的教育津贴 的年限延长至26岁。
A rare chance to cut back was missed when staff regulations were renegotiated this year. Barring a few concessions, such as a 5% headcount cut by 2017 and a rise in the pension age to 66, reforms were few. Hardly any change was made to allowances, or to automatic promotions and salary rises, and there was no big pension reform, even though this is a growing concern forBrusselsas well as for national governments.
Trimming running costs is something most EU governments have been doing assiduously.Spaincut pay by 5% in 2010;Irelanddid even more, cutting it by 5-15%. InBritain, as part of plans to cut costs by a third by 2015, the central government pay-bill was cut by 6.3% in real terms between 2010-2013. Yet EU salaries have continued to rise in the past four years.
If institutions that so often propose reforms do little at home, it gives less hope for changes in costlier policies. TheBrusselsdefence is that administrative spending is “tiny”, so reducing it will make little difference. But the appearance of indulgence weakens the EU’s reputation at a time when most polls show citizens everywhere have lost faith in it.
Later this month, European parliamentarians and their entourages are planning to travel toStrasbourgto vote through the rise in the EU’s administration budget. The 200mannual cost of this travelling circus is hardly huge, but most European taxpayers still see it for the incomprehensible extravagance it is.
本月下旬,欧洲议会议员和他们的随行者正在计划前往斯塔拉斯堡,就提高欧盟行政预算进行投票表决。每年用于巡回访问的200亿欧元的费用并不算是个大数目,但是许多欧洲纳税人仍然将其视做无法理喻的奢侈消费。译者:沈晓旭 校对:姜开锋



1.pay for 赔偿;为…付钱

例句:In a 27-page order released Friday, judge Lucy KOH vacated$ 450 million of the original award and ordered a new trial to sort out how much Samsung should pay for 13 devices where the jury 's math is in dispute.


2.even though 即使

例句:Steve lets his daughter go on a school trip even though he won't let her spend a night away with a friend on the principle that there's safety in numbers.


3.as well as 以及
例句:There are one-room flats as well as two-room flats.


4.continue to 继续

例句:We'll continue to fight for a decent standard of living for our members.


  • disputev. 争论,争议,辩驳,质疑 n. 争论,争吵,争端
  • trimn. 整齐,装饰,修剪下来的部分 adj. 整洁的,匀称
  • triumphn. 凯旋,欢欣 vi. 得胜,成功,庆功
  • commissionn. 委员会,委托,委任,佣金,犯罪 vt. 委任,委托
  • trialadj. 尝试性的; 审讯的 n. 尝试,努力,试验,试
  • principlen. 原则,原理,主义,信念
  • swallown. 燕子,吞咽,一次吞咽的量 vt. 吞下,咽下,忍受
  • reputationn. 声誉,好名声
  • unemploymentn. 失业,失业人数
  • generousadj. 慷慨的,宽宏大量的,丰盛的,味浓的