What does the EU do with your money? Is it invested wisely? Does it help support sustainable growth? These were the issues debated during the ReAct event in Frankfurt on 5 December when experts and ordinary people exchanged views on how to put the EU budget to best use. There was a broad agreement that EU funds should promote not just economic growth, but also solidarity.
The discussions focussed on various issues such as solidarity; is the gap between net contributors and net recipients to the EU budget too big? Participants also looked at the benefits of free movement, the single market and security and how this affected the quality of life in the EU. Finally, they also discussed how investment by the EU could boost job creation and economic growth.
Dr Daniela Schwarzer, of the Foundation for Science and Politics, said the EU should not be reduced to economic issues and that it it is foremost the community of peace and values.
Prof. Dr Gerhard Untiedt, of the Gesellschaft für Finanz- und Regionalanalysen, said EU investment benefited employment and growth, but that funds have to be administered efficiently at national and regional level for them to have the biggest impact.
Meanwhile Dr Henrik Müller, a professor of the University of Dortmund, focused on the question of European solidarity. According to him that would eventually mean European social security systems
The conference sparked off a lively debate on Twitter and other social media with comments shown live on stage.
ReAct events bring together experts and ordinary people for debates that touch on the most important challenges that the EU is facing at the moment. The first ReAct event took place in Paris and focused on employment; the second in Warsaw dealt with the EU’s role in the world