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ALDE recommends radical debate on long-term EU budget post 2013

Date

13 Jan 2011

Sections

EU Priorities 2020

Marking the start of 2011 which will hold a number of challenges for the EU, the ALDE group held a hearing on "Financing the European Union in times of austerity: towards a more independent source of revenue" to analyse the current system based primarily on national transfers and the options for change. At the same time the ALDE group is the first political group to outline its position paper, prepared by Carl Haglund (Svenska folkpartiet, Finland), in advance of proposals this year for the broad budget priorities of the Union, both in terms of revenue and expenditure.

Aware of the tight budgetary margins of Member States at present, Liberals and Democrats argue for greater effort in integrating common policies and initiatives within the objectives fixed by the 2020 strategy ensuring that all expenditure corresponds to genuine added value. Tobacco production subsidies should end and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund could be merged with the European Social Fund.

ALDE also supports the need to reallocate some administrative expenditure, for example scrapping the Economic and Social Committee, restructuring the Committee of Regions and working towards a single seat for Parliament.

ALDE also advocates greater synergy and economies of scale between the European and national budgets in a number of areas such as foreign policy, military procurement, humanitarian aid, overseas development (integrating EDF into the EU budget), R&D and major infrastructure projects.  In this regard, ALDE supports the idea of holding a form of inter-parliamentary conference on the next multi-annual framework.

As regards revenue, ALDE argues for breaking the stalemate over the system of national contributions which only encourages Member States to consider the budget in terms of a 'juste retour' and thus plagued with complicated systems of rebates and reimbursements. ALDE supports Commission proposals to consider new own resources for the Union in order to restore the original idea of financing the EEC at its inception.

ALDE questions the minimalist approach of those governments calling for a freeze of the budget as we believe that some public investment is necessary to stimulate growth. We thus believe that EIB bonds could be even more exploited for financing pan-European infrastructure and R&D projects.

For more information, please contact / Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter:
Corlett Neil - Tel: +32 2 284 20 77 Mob: +32 478 78 22 84
Laude Yannick - Tel: +32 2 284 31 69 Mob: +32 495 22 78 37

Web: http://www.alde.eu

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