He used the air time on Betrouwbare Bronnen to promote his plans for the EU’s next seven-year budget. The show received a taxpayer-funded grant from the Commission ahead of the podcast’s broadcast on February 13 – part of which comes from UK citizens. Its host, Japp Jansen, confirmed the EU’s support package.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “BB has applied for and received a grant from the European Commission.”
But questions were raised over a conflict of interest after the podcast’s description revealed Mr Koopman’s interview was “made possible in part by the European Commission”.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s European spokesman accused the Brussels chief of spending cash to “influence messages”.
Anne Mulder, an MP for his VVD party, told Express.co.uk: “If the EU has money to spend on podcasts, its budget is certainly too high.
“Spending money on podcasts fits in a pattern where the European Commission creates at least an appearance of trying to influence messages.”
He added: “The same happens with the Jean Monnet chairs at universities. The Commission pays the chair – will that professor have a neutral stance towards the EU?”
The Commission’s budget proposal of 1.11 percent of EU member states’ gross national income has caused rifts across the bloc.
Mr Koopman used his appearance on Betrouwbare Bronnen to encourage member states to cough up the cash and support his spending plans.
The Netherlands is just one of the countries opposed to increasing the spending cap beyond the current level of one percent.
Former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe said: “EU officials using taxpayer-funded media outlets to preach their Euro-federalism have to be either incredibly arrogant or plain stupid. My guess is both.
“After requesting an eye-watering sum of over one trillion euros the Brussels bureaucrats should be ashamed to show their faces in public. With the United Kingdom leaving European taxpayers simply won’t tolerate this outrageous greed.
“Cuts have to be made. A good start would be the 10,000 plus EU civil servants who earn more than the Prime Minister.”
A European Commission spokesman said: “The Commission is supporting media projects in all countries, including the Netherlands.
“Those receiving grant funding – for whatever purpose – always retain full editorial independence.”