Proposal for an own resources decision

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Key points:

The EESC:

  • notes the consensus that is necessary to add new own resources to cover the debt repayment resulting from borrowing under the NextGenerationEU initiative without jeopardising the budgets of other EU programmes and instruments, or substantially increasing the Gross National Income (GNI)-based resource contribution. Although the Commission proposals as set out in the communication are deemed necessary, it believes that the Commission should ensure that the design of the new system is based on achieving equity and fairness, efficiency, transparency, simplicity and stability, with a focus on competitiveness and applying solidarity where necessary;
  • urges the Commission regarding the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to ensure that it is carried out in a non-disruptive, cost-effective way. Moreover, notes the extension of the ETS to the maritime sector, the gradual increase of aviation allowances, and the inclusion of road transport and buildings and believes it plausible that a limited share of ETS revenues could flow into the EU budget;
  • believes that the EU ETS and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) should be considered in the same spirit. While the EU ETS can cause carbon leakage, a CBAM would counter such leakage by putting a price on the greenhouse gas emission content of imports. However, cautions against designing a CBAM system that places European manufacturing and other businesses at a competitive disadvantage;
  • is also of the opinion that care must be taken to safeguard the predictability and transparency criteria, given that revenue from the EU ETS and the CBAM could be volatile;
  • considers that a national contribution to the EU budget based on the share of residual profits from multinational enterprises re-allocated to each Member State is an appropriate base for EU own resources, fulfilling the fairness criteria, as firms would pay a proportion of residual profits wherever they operate and generate profits. However, it believes that a level playing field in the international tax system that does not place EU businesses at a competitive disadvantage is necessary;
  • warns that tax reform and/or compensatory mechanisms at national level might be needed to neutralise any additional tax burdens on households and businesses;
  • considers that the need for both a strong political will to deepen EU integration and a clear roadmap of the future of Europe is necessary for the proper design and smooth implementation of a new own resources system. This is all the more important in light of the war in Ukraine, and thus the Commission's proposal may require revisiting at some stage.