Budget 2014-2020

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EESC opinion: Budget 2014-2020

Key points:

 

The EESC

  • reiterates that the ambitious challenges facing the EU make it not only desirable but also necessary to increase the size of the EU budget so as to revitalise economic growth and employment. Freezing the MFF in real terms at current levels would mean failing to address many of the challenges that the EU will have to cope with in the coming years.
  • the Commission's proposal seems excessively geared towards preserving the status quo, in terms of both the resources allocated and the budget structure.
  • welcomes the moves to improve and simplify the structure of the EU budget, so as to substantially deflate the issues of fair return and horizontal fairness between the Member States.
  • supports the proposal to introduce a new system of own resources, arising from a modified VAT resource and the financial transaction tax (FTT).
  • advocates exploring the idea of creating innovative financial instruments to cover those investments (project bonds), subject, however, to a detailed assessment of the potential consequences.
  • welcomes the CAP reform, which is intended to deliver an efficient and effective European model of agriculture and genuine added value for the EU.
  • is opposed to the idea of applying macroeconomic conditionality to the disbursement of cohesion policy funds.
  • the EU budget should be exemplary, efficient, effective and transparent, so that it gains credibility in the eyes of the European public and serves as a clear illustration of both the advantages of Europe and the costs of "non-Europe".
  • stresses the need for a system to be set up or implemented to monitor the results of all EU policies, in order to assess their social, economic and regional impact.