A High-Level Group to Reform the EU Budget Launched

Written by | Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The current bosses of the three main EU institutions established on Tuesday (February 25) a high-level group on EU’s “own resources” to be led by Italy’s former Prime Minister, Mario Monti. After the European Parliament had accepted the budgetary framework for the 2014-2020 period in November last year, it had also decided to create a high-level working group on new resources with the aim to reform the EU’s income arrangements such as funding or rebates. The current system, which includes numerous exceptions, has become increasingly complex and difficult to handle.
The newly created body will be in charge of undertaking a general view of the way in which the EU budget is paid for including its linkage to national budgets. The objective is also to make the EU’s own resources simpler, more accountable, and more transparent as well as more significant in the making of the EU’s budget. The new agenda should replace the current one that is dependent upon the contributions of member states. A tentative evaluation should be ready by the end of this year.
European Parliament’s President Martin Schulz said that it was about time to rebuild the current way of funding. He added that the EU Treaty said the EU budget should be paid by own resources but in reality the budget is still being funded in a very complex and outdated system rich in exceptions. Mr Schulz encouraged Mr Monti to kick off preparatory work on the new working group and called for getting rid of the dependence on national contributions.
The group will be tasked to reconsider the input of national governments and its members are to be named by the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament. The initiative has been embraced by the three major political groups – the Liberals, the Socialists and Democrats, and the European People’s Party (EPP).

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