11 October 2017
Reform of the EU budget: Time has come to rethink the 'net payer, net beneficiary' approach

Reform of the EU budget: Time has come to rethink the 'net payer, net beneficiary' approach

Plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions

The CoR backed today by overwhelming majority the draft opinion on a "Reform of EU own resources within the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)" by PES member Isabelle Boudineau (France).

​In her speech, the Vice-President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council 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 'net payer, net beneficiary' approach. The EU budget must become less dependent on national contributions, more transparent and more understandable for its 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 Ressources, 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. 

"We need to mobilize mutual resources to find common solutions to the problems which affect citizens' daily life", she emphasised, adding that the reform should also take into account the territorial dimension in debates on the EU budget

Her line was supported by Ivailo Kalfin, special adviser to the European Commission on relations with the European and National Parliaments, and budget revenue, who stressed that "the debate on the reform is not about money but about policies. We need to be capable of financing new priorities (such as the management of migrants and refugees and combating climate change) which must 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 favourably for a number of proposals, stemming from an EU corporate income tax by means of a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB), a specific tax on multinational companies, a reformed own resource VAT, a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) to 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).