28 June 2017
Reform of the EU budget: Time has come to rethink the 'fair return' approach

Reform of the EU budget: Time has come to rethink the 'fair return' approach

Members of the CoR Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) backed today by overwhelming majority the draft opinion on a "Reform of EU own resources within the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)" by Isabelle Boudineau, Vice-president of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council (PES/France).

In her speech, the CoR rapporteur called for an in-depth reform of the current  European budget funding system and for keeping the budget negotiations within a European spirit: "With the reduction of the EU's budget after 2020 following the Brexit, we are at a political and financial crossroad. Time has come to rethink the purely 'fair return' approach. The EU budget must become less dependent on national contributions, more transparent and simply more understandable for citizens. It should also have a better focus on actions having a European added value", she emphasized. 

Her draft opinion reacts to the proposals put forward by the report of the High Level Group on Own Resources, chaired by Italian economist and former Prime Minister Mario Monti, which concludes that the EU budget needs a reform, both on a revenue and on an expenditure level in order to address current challenges and to achieve tangible results for citizens. ​

While generally welcoming the report, the rapporteur criticizes nevertheless the fact that it does not address the size of the EU budget in line with the priorities set by the EU and thus calls for a far-sighted and flexible post-2020 budget. "We need to mobilize common resources to find common solutions to the problems that affect citizens' daily life", she stressed in tune with MEP Alain Lamassoure (member of the High Level Group), underlining that the reform of own resources must allow for Europe to finance its new "contemporary needs" and should go hand in hand with the possibility of establishing a fiscal capacity for the Member States of the euro-area. 

Regarding the new possible own resources, Isabelle Boudineau argues in favor of an EU corporate income tax by means of a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) as well as of a specific tax on multinational companies, a reformed own resource VAT, a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) and a carbon tax (bearing in mind however the difference between the less developed Member States using polluting means of energy production and the more developed Member States which use cleaner ones); as well as an electricity tax in line with the EU's objectives on energy efficiency but, fearing that it would be punitive, calls for it to be ruled for households.