After witnessing the umpteenth complaint about all the money British taxpayers have to pump to Southern European PIGS countries (yes Alan, I'm thinking of you!), I eventually decided to have a look at the EU budget myself.
The results are quite interesting, and despite the EU website having pulled off the best report they had (warning: broken link) Wikipedia is still quite clear on the matter.
Basically the complainants are right when they claim that the United Kingdom is a net contributor: in 2009 they put in the pot 3.8M Euros more than they received. But they are wrong when they think that they are pumping money to countries like Italy, as Italy is the third largest net contributor with a wider loss of 6M Euros (with Germany and France in first and second position, with 8.7M and 6.4M Euros respectively).
My conclusion is that before blaming the foreigner, or the different, or the ugly, or someone with a funny accent, or simply someone with a better weather, you'd rather get better informed.