Arbitrary rule of not spending over 1% of GDP on EU budget must be scrapped

GDP letters on european map

S&D MEPs today called for the rule of not spending more than 1% of European GDP on the EU budget to be scrapped. The call came ahead of a vote on a resolution on the future financing of the EU in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

S&D Group vice-president and author of the resolution, Isabelle Thomas, said:

“This resolution calls for real ambition for the future of the Union. We want to strengthen the EU budget after 2020 so we can tackle the many challenges we face in Europe. We need finally to break the arbitrary ceiling of only spending 1% of European GDP on the EU budget. We also need to find new ways to fund the EU budget, relying less on contributions from member states and more on genuine own resources. These new funds should come from a range of different means, such as a financial transaction tax, a tax on multinationals or a carbon adjustment tax at Europe’s borders.

“We now urge the Commission to make a proposition in line with the proposals put forward by the Parliament. If we do not get serious about funding the EU budget adequately then we jeopardize the future of the Union. Socialists and Democrats are in the front line of this financial battle.”

Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, S&D Group spokesperson for the EU budget, added:

“From responding to the migration crisis to tackling youth unemployment, national governments are calling on the EU to take on ever more tasks. These policies can only be effective but only if we have the means available in the EU budget to handle them properly. The European Parliament has made clear today that if we want to be ambitious about what the EU can achieve then we need to be realistic about how we fund it. In this report we are calling for a specific Euro-area budget, as well as increased funds and flexibility so that we have the capability to respond effectively to new challenges and priorities as they arise.”