Germany Rules In the New EU

Most Germans are, it seems, enthusiasic about the European Union. All of the major German political parties are (as is the case in the UK) enthusiastic and supportive of the European Union.

But I wonder how many people outside Germany realise just how big a part Germany plays in running the EU.

The new enlarged European Parliament has 732 members - compared to the old European Parliament which had 626 members. Before the EU was enlarged, the Germans had 99 seats in the European Parliament. They still have 99 seats today.

Before the EU was enlarged the United Kingdom had 87 seats in the European Parliament. Today the United Kingdom has just 78 seats. (We are told that the reduction in the UK's allocation of seats had to be made to allow for the new, incoming countries.)

Germany had 16% of the old EU Parliament.

Today Germany has 14% of the new EU Parliament.

The UK had 14% of the old EU Parliament.

Today the UK has under 11% of the new EU Parliament.

It doesn't seem entirely unfair to say that our influence in the EU is shrinking rather rapidly - certainly more rapidly than that of Germany, which has, let me remind you, 99 seats in the EU Parliament compared to Britain's 78.

I wonder how many Britons know this.

Did you?

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2004