Transforming the EU budget - a revolution within reach
In 2011 and 2012, the European Union has the chance to make big changes on one of the most important, most controversial and most criticised of all European issues - its own budget.
EU spending is fixed every year in the annual budget. But that budget is set according to rules laid down in a Multiannual Financial Framework. The current framework runs until 2013, so the decisions on what will replace it will be taken in 2011 and 2012.
Change is urgently needed:
- the way EU spending is financed is complex and lacks transparency
- the priorities in the existing budget have to be updated to match citizens' priorities and the challenges of the 21st century
- Member States have transferred major policy responsibilities to the Union without the financial means to deliver results
- the speed and effectiveness of EU actions is undermined by over-rigid rules on how money can be spent.
Europe's Conservative governments - led by Britain's David Cameron - are calling for a reduction or at best a freeze on EU spending. They don't even want to discuss the underlying budgetary problems - Cameron, Sarkozy and Merkel have already agreed among themselves that the new MFF must leave untouched agriculture spending and the British rebate.
The S&D Group insists that the EU must not duck this opportunity for desperately needed reform and for a Budget that fits the Union to meet citizens' aspirations. We are calling for radical change in how the EU raises and spends money.
The EU budget reform: Breaking taboos to deliver a new development strategy for the EU EN | FR | DE | ES