News > European Movement Breakfast Briefing on EU Own Resources with Kristalina Georgieva & Mario Monti

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Single Market and EMU

European Movement Breakfast Briefing on EU Own Resources with Kristalina Georgieva & Mario Monti

As the EU ponders its future, the question of how to finance its budget is central to efforts to achieve an efficient and effective EU.

On 8 September 2016 the European Movement International held a Breakfast Briefing at the margins of the Interinstitutional Conference on the Future Financing of the European Union to discuss how best to finance the EU budget and explore all possible options.

In his introductory remarks, Jo Leinen MEP, President of the European Movement International, referred to the shortcomings and inefficiency of the current system of raising funds for the EU budget based predominately on the Member States’ contributions, which leads to shrewd bargaining and public disagreement. This undermines the EU’s ability to function effectively and has a negative impact on the citizens’ perception of the Union. Thus, there is a strong need to advocate for Europeanisation of the EU budget and establishment of a clearer, direct link with the citizens on the issues related to the European finances.

Commissioner Georgieva began her intervention by comparing the EU budget financed by own resources to a wish that even a genie from the bottle would not dare to face. According to the Commission’s Vice President, the current system of finance for the Union has three major shortcomings: negotiations on EU finances are often complex and driven by national interests; the financing of the budget is difficult to understand for people and businesses and, finally, the current system gives rise to a complex system of rebates.

Elaborating on the ongoing reform process, Georgieva remained positive: “There is now, for good and bad reasons, the environment for change”, she said, but this change will only happen “if we work tirelessly to demonstrate the value of the budget to our citizens.”


Kristalina Georgieva outlined the major priorities of the EU budget: jobs and growth, migration crisis and security, and assured that the Commission works “very hard to find what may be a possible revolution or evolution of budget negotiations”, focusing on improving the revenue side of EU budget and own resources through effective and responsible spending. The Commission’s VP concluded her intervention by posing a crucial question: will we move to a new equilibrium around EU budget financing after the British referendum?

Subsequently, Senator Monti argued that a focus on results from the EU budget will be the key for the development of EU own resources. He immediately added yet another budget priority to the list made by Commissioner Georgieva; according to the HLGOR Chairman, a leading priority at the moment is saving the EU as an integrated system. Mario Monti stated, “Whatever measures we take, we should evaluate: is this contributing to EU integration?” The significance of the interinstitutional debate held in Brussels these days, he emphasised, is not only to define certain technical proposals, but also to put the discussion on the EU budget in the Member States’ spotlight, so that it can no longer be ignored.

Lastly, Monti argued that the current Stability and Growth Pact should be amended, or even abandoned, as it has become discriminatory to investment and can no longer be perceived as a key driver of change.

Alain Lamassoure, Member of the European Parliament and expert on EU budgetary affairs commented from the floor on the remarks made by the keynote speakers. According to Lamassoure, “It is difficult to imagine a more unpopular topic at a more difficult time.” The EU budget is “the best managed budget in the world, but it is managed with the worst decision-making process in the world.” The problem lies in the fact that the revenue side of the EU budget is not publicly discussed, but debated and decided upon by unknown EU officials. Lamassoure concluded that in the entire reform process there is no need for a federal revolution, but an urgent need to get back to back to the roots and primary principles of European cooperation.

Missed the event or want to come back to its content? 

Watch the introductory remarks of VP Georgeva and Senator Monti;

Take a look at photos here:

08.09.2016 European Movement Breakfast Briefing
and listen to the full event recording:

 

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