PapersEconomic IntegrationDilemmas and challenges around the EU budget

Dilemmas and challenges around the EU budget

By Centre for European Reform

The EU budget needs extensive reform both to resolve longstanding shortcomings and in anticipation of a further enlargement of the Union. The EU budget has long been among the most contested and acrimonious issues in the European Union. From Margaret Thatcher swinging her handbag to demand her money back, to Viktor Orban blocking proposals for a ‘Ukraine Facility’, national politicians have used it to grandstand for domestic audiences. In the past, the main disputes were about how to maximise receipts and (for richer member-states) to reduce their net contributions, and often wasteful spending programmes such as the Common Agricultural Policy or regional development. Latterly, new means of funding EU policies outside the standard budget architecture and procedures have become a new source of concern. The EU budget process needs to be reformed to cater for changing spending demands and a prospective enlargement with new member-states including Ukraine, Moldova, and countries in the Western Balkans.

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Author: Iain Begg, Professorial Research Fellow at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science.

This text has originally been published on the CER website.

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