Politicians have asserted for years that the EU's acquis communautaire- the body of EU legislation which European companies, charities and individuals have to comply with is roughly 80,000 pages long. However, if you total up pages in the many volumes of the EU's Official Journal of legislation, you will find that the EU has passed a staggering 666,879 pages of law since its inception in 1957. If you research the EU's legislative database Eur-lex, you will find that 26% of all EU regulations passed since 1957 are still active. Thus the true size of the active acquis communautaire is over 170,000 pages long or double the number of pages that is normally claimed by the EU Commission and other commentators. Of these 170,000 pages, over 100,000 have been produced in the last 10 years. If the EU continues to legislate at current trends the acquis communautaire will have more than doubled by 2020 to 351,000 pages.

If all the legislation the EU has passed were laid out lengthways, it would be 193.12 km long. Even if you just account for the amount of EU legislation currently in force, at 51km it stretches even further than a marathon (42km) and would take the average person more than four hours to run along.





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