Brussels shipped off 16 youngsters on jaunts across the Continent in a European Union propaganda push. The jollies – which cost around £312,500 per person – included once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as meeting Santa Claus in Lapland, beer brewing classes, wine tasting and tickets to music festivals. The money was spent between 2018 and 2019, meaning British taxpayers forked out £650,000 for the project.
German MEP Nicolaus Fest, who unearthed some of the items, said: “There are three constants in the EU: bureaucracy, waste and nonsense.
“Here the EU displays this better than ever by generously funding young travellers to jet set around Europe guzzling wine, crafting beer and partying at music festivals.
“How exactly the EU can justify such woeful expenditure as being beneficial to the ordinary people of Europe is beyond me.
“This is quite clearly an expensive vanity project gone wrong which will no doubt leave most citizens bewildered and angry.”
The project was set up to counter a “lack of awareness about EU-funded projects”, the bloc’s regional policy department told the MEP.
According to internal documents, the first trip in 2018 set back taxpayers around £1.6million.
Its eight travellers visited destinations in every EU member state apart from island nation Malta.
As well as meeting Santa and crafting their own beer, the youngsters were treated to fishing expeditions and lessons on becoming spies in a Soviet bunker.
The second so-called “road trip” featured two five-week jaunts between Ireland and Cyprus, as well as Finland and the Canary Islands.
Several videos posted on YouTube showed the travellers guzzling Champagne, drinking beer and making a splash at a water park.
Eurocrats have since boasted that around 55 million video views were generated by the reports from the two trips.
In an email to Mr Fest, they added: “In 2018 and 2019, the Road Trip Project allowed young people from different countries and backgrounds to team up, discover the diversity of Europe’s regions, see first-hand EU solidarity at work on the ground and, more importantly, to communicate and share their experience with their generation, in their own way and their own words, via social media and video platforms.”
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