A new Resource for the European budget
Notre Europe's Committee Declaration, November 13, 2010
As Member States prepare to renegotiate the full range of resources allocated to community policies in the coming lengthy seven-year period, the vast majority appear to believe that since all national budgets are being cut, the budget of the European Union should be similarly curtailed. This approach is misguided. It is based on faulty assumptions and runs counter to European interests.
The assumptions are wrong because national budgets are different from the European budget, and to compare the two is an exercise in demagogy. It must be remembered that the EU budget only accounts for about 1% of GDP compared to 25% in the U.S.
Curtailing the EU budget would run counter to the interests of Europe because it would condemn the Union to economic depression or at best stagnation. At a time when national governments are forced to adopt austerity measures, the European budget can and must be used as an instrument to boost the economy. The Union is granted new competencies by the Lisbon Treaty and has set very high goals for 2020 to promote intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth. With its current resources it will be unable achieve these goals. The EU’s momentum and democratic underpinnings would again be shaken by a complete mismatch between the objectives it proclaims and the resources made available to achieve them.
EU spending is not simply added to national spending. In a number of areas (such as solidarity, defence, research and innovation and European energy and transport infrastructure), the Union can streamline total spending through economies of scale and take more effective action with fewer resources. Can the EU’s current resources be used to increase the Community budget? Certainly not. The bulk of the EU budget is financed through national contributions provided by Member States at a time of national belt-tightening.
Governments would be wrong to see this as the spectre of a European tax and use it to alarm to public opinion. A new own resource could increase the EU budget and decrease Member State contributions. It would enable the Union to make progress in combating climate change, through a carbon tax, or excessive financial risk-taking, through a tax on financial transactions.
European citizens would fail to understand if the post-crisis world were to be a carbon copy of the pre-crisis world with a bit less growth and more unemployment. A European economic recovery budget based on a new own resource, to be used to achieve ambitious goals, is an economic and social necessity and a matter of political urgency.
- Enrique Barón-Crespo, Former President of the European Parliament, Former President of the Parliamentary group of European Socialists
- Joachim Bitterlich, Executive Vice-President International, Veolia Environnement Paris, Vice-President of Notre Europe
- Pervenche Berès, European Deputy
- Josep Borrel Fontelles, President of the European University Institute of Florence, former President of the European Parliament
- Jean-Louis Bourlanges, Former European deputy
- Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, Lawyer
- Etienne Davignon, Belgian State Minister, Former Vice-President of the European Commission
- Jean Baptiste de Foucauld, Inspector of finance
- Jacques Delors, Founding President of Notre Europe, former President of the European Commission
- Ana de Palacio, Former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Renaud Dehousse, Director of the Center for European Studies, Sciences Po Paris
- Philippe de Schoutheete, Former Belgium's permanent representative to the European Union
- Isabelle Durant, Vice President of the European Parliament
- Piero Fassino, Secretary General of Democrats of the Left in Italy
- Jean François-Poncet Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Emilio Gabaglio, Former Secretary General of the European Confederation of Trade Unions
- Nicole Gnesotto, Professor of the Chair of European Union Studies at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Vice-President of Notre Europe
- Sylvie Goulard, European deputy
- Elisabeth Guigou, French Deputy, former Minister
- Klaus Hänsch, Former President of the European Parliament
- Philippe Lagayette, President of the ‘Fondation de France’
Eneko Landaburu, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in the Kingdom of Morocco
- Allan Larsson, Former Swedish Minister of Finance
- Pierre Lepetit, Inspector of finance, Notre Europe’s Vice-President
- Paavo Lipponen, Former Finnish Prime Minister
- Vitor Martins, Advisor on European Affairs of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Mario Monti, Former European Commissioner, President of Bocconi Unversity, Milan
Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, President of Notre Europe, Former Italian Minister of Economy and Finance
- Riccardo Perissich, Former Director General, DG Industry, European Commission
- Alojz Peterle, European deputy, former Slovenian Prime Minister
- Julian Priestley, Former Secretary general of the European Parliament
- Antonio Puri Purini, Advisor to Italian President, former Ambassador of Italy in Germany
- Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul, Secretary general of Notre Europe
- Maria João Rodrigues, Former Minister of Portugal, Advisor for Economic and Social Policies to the European Commission, Professor at the University of Lisbon
- Daniela Schwarzer, Researcher, SWP Berlin
- Antoinette Spaak, Belgian State Minister, former European deputy
- Barbara Spinelli, Journalist
- Pedro Solbes, Former Spanish Minister
- Christian Stoffaës, President of the Board of the Centre of Prospective Studies and International Information (CEPII)
- Pawel Swieboda, President of Demos Europa
- Christine Verger, Director in the European Parliament, former Secretary general of Notre Europe
- Guy Verhofstadt, President of ADLE group in the European Parliament, former Belgian Prime Minister
- Daniel Vernet, Journalist
- Jérôme Vignon, President of ‘Semaines sociales de France’
Complete list of the Committee.