Procedură : 2006/2205(INI)
Stadiile documentului în şedinţă
Stadii ale documentului : A6-0066/2007

Texte depuse :

A6-0066/2007

Dezbateri :

PV 28/03/2007 - 17
CRE 28/03/2007 - 17

Voturi :

PV 29/03/2007 - 8.11
Explicaţii privind voturile

Texte adoptate :

P6_TA(2007)0098

RAPORT     
PDF 500kDOC 628k
14 martie 2007
PE 382.623v02-00 A6-0066/2007

privind viitorul resurselor proprii ale Uniunii Europene

(2006/2205(INI))

Comisia pentru bugete

Raportor: Alain Lamassoure

PROPUNERE DE REZOLUŢIE A PARLAMENTULUI EUROPEAN
 EXPUNERE DE MOTIVE
 ANEXE LA EXPUNEREA DE MOTIVE
 DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 1 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE
 DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 2 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE
 DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 3 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE
 DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 4 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE
 DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 5 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE
 AVIZ al Comisiei pentru control bugetar
 AVIZ al ComisiEI pentru afaceri economice şi monetare
 AVIZ al ComisiEI pentru dezvoltare regională
 AVIZ al Comisiei pentru afaceri constituţionale
 PROCEDURĂ

PROPUNERE DE REZOLUŢIE A PARLAMENTULUI EUROPEAN

privind viitorul resurselor proprii ale Uniunii Europene

(2006/2205(INI))

Parlamentul European,

–   având în vedere rezoluţiile sale din 22 noiembrie 1990 privind viitoarele surse de finanţare ale Comunităţii Europene(1) şi din 21 aprilie 1994 privind un nou sistem de resurse proprii al Uniunii Europene(2),

 având în vedere Directiva 94/728/CE, Euratom a Consiliului din 31 octombrie 1994 privind sistemul de resurse proprii al Comunităţilor Europene(3),

 având în vedere documentul din 7 octombrie 1998 intitulat „Finanţarea Uniunii Europene - Raportul Comisiei privind funcţionarea sistemului de resurse proprii” (COM(1998)0560 - C4-0579/1998),

 având în vedere rezoluţia sa din 11 martie 1999 privind necesitatea de modificare şi reformă a sistemului de resurse proprii al Uniunii Europene(4),

 având în vedere poziţia sa din 17 noiembrie 1999 privind propunerea de decizie a Consiliului privind sistemul de resurse proprii al Uniunii Europene (COM(1999)0333)(5),

 având în vedere Decizia 2000/597/CE, Euratom a Consiliului din 29 septembrie 2000 privind sistemul de resurse proprii al Comunităţilor Europene(6),

 având în vedere Raportul Comisiei privind funcţionarea sistemului de resurse proprii(7) şi propunerea Comisiei pentru o nouă decizie a Consiliului privind resursele proprii, însoţită de o propunere de Regulament privind măsurile de punere în aplicare a corecţiei dezechilibrelor bugetare(8) prezentată la 14 iulie 2004,

 având în vedere studiul pentru Parlamentul European: Resurse proprii: evoluţia sistemului în cele 25 de state membre, prezentat la 30 iunie 2005(9),

 având în vedere concluziile Preşedinţiei Consiliului European de la Bruxelles din 15-16 decembrie 2005,

 având în vedere propunerea Comisiei pentru o Decizie a Consiliului privind sistemul de resurse proprii al Comunităţilor Europene şi Documentul de lucru al Comisiei privind calculul, finanţarea, plata şi înscrierea în buget a corecţiei dezechilibrelor bugetare în favoarea Regatului Unit („corecţia Regatului Unit”) în conformitate cu articolele 4 şi 5 ale Deciziei 2006/xxx/CE, Euratom a Consiliului privind sistemul de resurse proprii al Comunităţilor Europene(10),

 având în vedere rezoluţia din 4 iulie 2006 privind propunerea de decizie a Consiliului privind sistemul de resurse proprii al Comunităţilor Europene(11),

 având în vedere studiul pentru Parlamentul European: Resurse proprii ale UE – Evaluarea preliminară a domeniului de aplicare a taxelor din statele membre care vin în sprijinul unui sistem de impozitare comunitar, prezentat în ianuarie 2007(12),

 având în vedere reuniunile Comisiei pentru bugete cu preşedinţii comisiilor pentru bugete ale parlamentelor naţionale, care au avut loc la 16 iunie 2005 şi la 21 iunie 2006,

 având în vedere răspunsurile la chestionarul privind resursele proprii transmis de Comisia pentru bugete, la 30 noiembrie 2005, către toate comisiile pentru bugete din cadrul parlamentelor naţionale ale statelor membre,

 având în vedere schimburile oficiale sau neoficiale de opinii dintre raportorul permanent pentru resursele proprii şi comisiile parlamentare corespunzătoare, sau reprezentanţii acestora, desfăşurate ca urmare a invitaţiei parlamentelor naţionale interesate de purtarea unor discuţii pe această temă în cursul anilor 2006 şi 2007,

 având în vedere rezultatele obţinute în cadrul grupurilor de lucru pentru viitoarele surse de finanţare ale Uniunii Europene la reuniunile parlamentare comune din 8-9 mai 2006 şi 4-5 decembrie 2006,

–   având în vedere Acordul Interinstituţional din 17 mai 2006 între Parlamentul European, Consiliu şi Comisie privind disciplina bugetară şi buna gestiune financiară(13), în special punctul 8, şi Declaraţia nr. 3 privind revizuirea cadrului financiar, anexată acestui acord,

–   având în vedere articolul 45 din Regulamentul său de procedură,

–   având în vedere raportul Comisiei pentru bugete şi avizul Comisiei pentru afaceri constituţionale, al Comisiei pentru control bugetar, al Comisiei pentru afaceri economice şi monetare şi al Comisiei pentru dezvoltare regională (A6-0066/2007),

A. întrucât prima Comunitate Europeană, Comunitatea Europeană a Cărbunelui şi a Oţelului (CECO), înfiinţată la 23 iulie 1952, a fost finanţată printr-un sistem autentic de resurse proprii, bazat pe un impozit perceput pe fiecare tonă de oţel produsă, plătibil direct de societăţile producătoare de cărbune şi oţel către bugetul CECO;

B.  întrucât, conform Tratatului de la Roma din 25 martie 1957, Comunitatea Economică Europeană avea să fie finanţată din contribuţiile naţionale numai pentru o perioadă de tranziţie, urmată de o trecere la un sistem de resurse proprii;

C. întrucât această trecere s-a produs abia la 21-22 aprilie 1970, când Consiliul European din Luxemburg a hotărât încetarea contribuţiilor naţionale şi introducerea unui nou sistem de finanţare bazat pe două resurse proprii autentice - impozitele agricole şi taxele vamale - suplimentate de o a treia resursă bazată pe taxa pe valoare adăugată (TVA);

D. întrucât toate eforturile Parlamentului(14) de a recurge la declaraţiile de TVA existente pentru a stabili baza de evaluare utilizabilă pentru resursa TVA („metoda declaraţiilor”) în locul bazei armonizate, calculată prin aplicarea unei rate ponderate medii la veniturile totale nete („metoda veniturilor”) s-au dovedit a fi inutile, având ca efect faptul că resursa TVA a devenit, dintr-o resursă proprie autentică aflată în legătură directă şi substanţială cu cetăţenii europeni, un pur instrument statistic de calculare a contribuţiei unui stat membru;

E.  întrucât „Acordul de la Fontainebleau”, încheiat de şefii de stat şi de guvern la 25-26 iunie 1984, menţiona în mod clar faptul că „politica de cheltuieli este, în ultimă instanţă, modalitatea esenţială de soluţionare a problemei dezechilibrelor bugetare”; întrucât, totuşi, Consiliul European a înfiinţat în acelaşi timp faimoasa „reducere” acordată Regatului Unit, un mecanism de corecţie pentru Regatul Unit care prevede că, începând cu anul 1985, Regatul Unit va primi 66% din diferenţa existentă între cota-parte de participare la plăţile TVA şi cota de cheltuieli alocate pentru anul respectiv; întrucât costul acestei reduceri urma să fie finanţat de toate statele membre, stabilindu-se un plafon pentru contribuţia Germaniei; întrucât aceasta a dus la o reducere a contribuţiilor anuale ale Regatului Unit la bugetul UE egală cu o medie anuală de 5,3 miliarde de euro în perioada 2001-2004;

F.  întrucât, în cadrul aceleiaşi reuniuni la nivel înalt, şefii de stat şi de guvern au hotărât, de asemenea, să acorde aceeaşi facilitate, în principiu şi la momentul corespunzător, „oricărui stat membru care ar suporta o sarcină bugetară considerată excesivă în raport cu prosperitatea sa relativă”;

G. întrucât Consiliul European de la Bruxelles din 11-13 februarie 1988 a stabilit un plafon pentru bugetul Comunităţii de 1,2% din produsul naţional brut pentru plăţi şi de 1,3% pentru angajamente şi a confirmat că statele membre pot reţine 10% din veniturile din resursele proprii tradiţionale pentru a-şi acoperi costurile de colectare;

H. întrucât plafonul de resurse proprii a fost ridicat, pentru Uniunea Europeană care număra 15 state membre, la 1,24% din venitul naţional brut al UE din creditele de plată şi la 1,31% din creditele de angajament în perioada 1993-1999 şi a rămas neschimbat de atunci, deşi Uniunea s-a extins,

I.   întrucât, în primul rând, Consiliul European din 1988 de la Bruxelles a creat o a patra resursă „suplimentară” bazată pe produsul naţional brut, care urmează să fie utilizată numai dacă şi în momentul în care suma colectată din TVA şi din resursele proprii tradiţionale se dovedeşte a fi insuficientă pentru a acoperi angajamentele financiare ale Comunităţii;

J.   întrucât, de-a lungul timpului, această resursă a devenit resursa principală a bugetului Uniunii Europene, reprezentând aproximativ 70% din veniturile pentru exerciţiul financiar 2007, în timp ce resursele provenind din TVA reprezintă aproximativ 15%, iar cota aferentă resurselor proprii tradiţionale (taxe vamale şi impozite agricole combinate) a scăzut la 15% din venituri;

K. întrucât Decizia privind resursele proprii actuale din 29 septembrie 2000 a intrat în vigoare la 1 martie 2002, având următoarele caracteristici principale: un plafon al resurselor proprii de 1,24% din venitul naţional brut al Uniunii (echivalent cu 1,27% din PIB) pentru creditele de plată şi 1,31% din venitul naţional brut (echivalent cu 1,335% din PIB) pentru creditele de angajament, o indemnizaţie pentru statele membre pentru costurile de colectare a resurselor proprii tradiţionale de 25%, o rată de apel maximă a TVA de 0,50%, o bază de calcul a taxei pe valoare adăugată pentru statele membre restricţionată la 50% din produsul naţional brut al acestora (reducerea bazei de calcul a TVA) şi o reducere în favoarea unui stat membru, cu excepţii pentru o serie de alte state membre cu privire la finanţarea acestei reduceri;

L.  întrucât cea mai recentă propunere a Comisiei prezentată în 2006 are ca obiectiv punerea în aplicare a deciziilor Consiliului European de la Bruxelles din 15-16 decembrie 2005 în domeniul resurselor proprii, care vizează în principal stabilirea unor regimuri mai speciale pentru anumite state membre contribuabile nete, spre exemplu rate de apel pentru TVA scăzute sau reduceri la valoarea brută pentru contribuţiile la venitul naţional brut, în afara listei de excepţii deja existente, sporind astfel complexitatea şi ininteligibilitatea sistemului şi alimentând conceptul limitat al dezechilibrelor bugetare;

M. întrucât Consiliul European a reînnoit, de asemenea, decizia luată în anul 2000 privind majorarea primei de colectare ce urmează a fi reţinută de statele membre de la 10% la 25% din resursele proprii tradiţionale, în ciuda faptului incontestabil că acest procent nu este corelat cu cheltuielile de colectare efective ale statelor membre, favorizează statele membre ale căror venituri provin în mare parte din taxele vamale, în detrimentul celorlalte, şi trebuie, prin urmare, considerată ca fiind o altă formă de reducere;

N. întrucât propunerea Comisiei referitoare la o nouă decizie privind resursele proprii, în ciuda faptului că a fost între timp aprobată de Parlament(15), este încă blocată în Consiliu de către statele membre care au fost iniţial în favoarea acestei decizii, însă se opun în prezent aplicării ei pe teritoriul lor;

O. întrucât Parlamentul are în vedere revizuirea detaliată a veniturilor şi cheltuielilor UE în 2008/2009, aşa cum este prevăzut de Acordul Interinstituţional din 17 mai 2006, văzând în aceasta o ocazie, ce nu trebuie ratată, de a reveni la un sistem autentic dar echitabil de resurse proprii în spiritul tratatelor de instituire a Comunităţilor Europene;

P.  întrucât, încă de la începutul anului 2006, au avut loc consultări cu parlamentele naţionale interesate de purtarea unor discuţii pe această temă, pentru a depune toate eforturile în vederea stabilirii unei baze parlamentare comune pentru acest viitor proces de revizuire;

Q. întrucât, deocamdată, aceste consultări au constat în simple schimburi de opinii personale între parlamentari, datorită faptului că majoritatea partidelor politice naţionale şi a parlamentelor nu au avut încă ocazia de a adopta o poziţie oficială cu privire la emiterea de resurse proprii;

R.  întrucât, cu toate acestea, aceste reuniuni au permis identificarea, între participanţi, a mai multor subiecte de consens şi a unui obiectiv majoritar de găsire a unei modalităţi de colaborare cu privire la viitorul finanţării UE;

S.  întrucât, între timp, preşedintele Adunării Generale portugheze a înaintat o propunere de organizare, în cadrul COSAC, a unei conferinţe a preşedinţilor comisiilor pentru bugete şi finanţe din cadrul parlamentelor naţionale şi al Parlamentului European, dedicată exclusiv resurselor proprii ale Uniunii, în timpul Preşedinţiei portugheze, în al doilea semestru al anului 2007;

Insuficienţe ale sistemului de finanţare actual

1.  subliniază că folosirea unui sistem în care aproximativ 70% din veniturile Uniunii nu provin din resurse proprii, ci direct de la bugetele naţionale, prin intermediul resurselor provenind din venitul intern brut, iar 15% provin din procentul ratei TVA, care nu poate fi considerată (pe baza modului în care este calculată) ca fiind, din toate punctele de vedere, o resursă proprie UE, se îndepărtează de dispoziţiile şi spiritul Tratatului de la Roma; subliniază că însăşi existenţa UE a contribuit la intensificarea schimburilor comerciale intracomunitare şi la creşterea „bunăstării” în statele membre, motiv pentru care UE este pe deplin îndreptăţită să aplice un sistem de resurse proprii autentice şi nu unul alimentat de contribuţiile naţionale;

2.  recunoaşte că resursele provenind din venitul naţional brut sunt mai puţin vizibile pentru cetăţeni dar mai echitabile în corelarea contribuţiilor cu nivelul general de prosperitate;

3.  subliniază faptul că tocmai această noţiune de „cotizaţie de membru” a dus la punerea accentului pe dezbaterea cu privire la viziunea limitată a contribuabilului net care nu ia în considerare beneficiile aduse de Uniunea Europeană în domeniul păcii, libertăţii, prosperităţii şi securităţii, în ciuda faptului că noţiunea de „solduri bugetare nete” prezintă deficienţe semnificative şi din punct de vedere tehnic şi nu permite decât pure aproximaţii; subliniază faptul că nici partea de venituri („efectul Rotterdam”), nici partea de cheltuieli („efectul Luxemburg”) a soldurilor nete nu reflectă pe deplin realitatea;

4.  este ferm convins că sistemul actual de resurse proprii bazat pe contribuţiile statelor membre este atât neechitabil faţă de cetăţeni, cât şi nedemocratic, şi nu contribuie la consolidarea angajamentului faţă de integrarea europeană; pe lângă aceasta, un astfel de sistem, în măsura în care impune asupra contribuţiei la Uniunea Europeană percepţia conform căreia aceasta constituie o sarcină suplimentară asupra bugetelor naţionale, nu asigură Uniunii fonduri suficiente pentru realizarea tuturor politicilor, datorită deficitelor bugetare existente, în special cele ale statelor membre mai mari; critică sever posibilităţile create pentru ca o ţară să finanţeze oficial numai acele politici care prezintă interes pentru aceasta; se teme că acest fapt ar putea marca începutul distrugerii valorilor care au caracterizat succesul Uniunii de-a lungul ultimilor 50 de ani;

5.  subliniază că sistemul actual, cu cele patru resurse diferite şi diversele mecanisme de reduceri, fie generale în favoarea unuia dintre statele membre, de pildă reducerea acordată Regatului Unit, fie speciale, precum reducerile pentru finanţarea altor reduceri, este prea complex, lipsit de transparenţă şi de neînţeles pentru cetăţenii europeni; subliniază faptul că acest sistem nu contribuie cu nimic la satisfacerea cerinţei de stabilire a unei legături directe între Uniune şi cetăţenii acesteia;

6.  notează faptul că, în cadrul deciziilor privind „resurselor proprii” şi „perspectivele financiare”, condiţia de unanimitate face ca orice rezultat al negocierilor din aceste domenii să depindă de bunăvoinţa şi posibilităţile financiare chiar şi ale celor mai reticente state membre, fie acestea bogate sau sărace; nu este surprins de faptul că rezultatele din acest domeniu sunt deseori dezamăgitoare;

7.  subliniază că regula unanimităţii în ceea ce priveşte problemele din domeniul fiscalităţii aduce complicaţii suplimentare;

8.  atribuie acestui sistem deficitar inadvertenţele Acordului din cadrul Consiliului European privind noua perspectivă financiară 2007–2013 încheiat la reuniunea la nivel înalt de la Bruxelles, din 14-15 decembrie 2005; consideră că pachetul financiar convenit, cu nenumăratele sale excepţii pe partea de venituri şi compensaţiile acordate anumitor state membre pe partea de cheltuieli, este o dovadă clară a eşecului înregistrat de sistemul actual; consideră că este inacceptabil că toate statele membre au căzut de acord asupra unor proiecte importante ale Comunităţii, precum Galileo sau reţeaua transeuropeană, stabilind obiective ambiţioase, de pildă obiectivele de la Goteborg şi Lisabona sau Obiectivele de Dezvoltare ale Mileniului, iar acum nimeni nu vrea să le finanţeze;

9.  deplânge faptul că, în loc să creeze un sistem mai simplu şi mai transparent, Consiliul European de la Bruxelles din 2005 a complicat sistemul actual, transformându-l într-unul obscur, lăsând intactă, în principiu, corecţia Regatului Unit, respectiv reducerea acordată Regatului Unit şi adăugând derogări şi corecţii suplimentare în beneficiul altor state membre;

10. evidenţiază faptul că, dacă s-ar fi respectat integral Decizia de la Edinburgh din 1992 privind stabilirea unui plafon al resurselor proprii de 1,24% din venitul naţional brut, bugetul Comunităţii ar fi înregistrat o creştere anuală de 0,2% din venitul naţional brut în ultimii 13 ani, echivalent cu o creştere de aproximativ 240 de miliarde de euro; consideră că aceste fonduri, care au fost unanim adoptate de statele membre în conformitate cu o propunere a preşedinţiei Regatului Unit, sunt necesare pentru a permite Uniunii Europene să acţioneze conform competenţelor sale aflate în creştere, în special în ceea ce priveşte eforturile de îndeplinire a obiectivelor de la Lisabona (inovare, infrastructură şi ocuparea forţei de muncă), sau, aşa cum s-a stabilit în Tratatele de la Maastricht, Amsterdam şi Nisa, dar şi în proiectul de Constituţie, şi pentru o Uniune cu 27 de state membre;

11. subliniază faptul că, din anul 1995, bugetul european a crescut cu numai 8,2% în termeni reali, iar cota-parte din venitul naţional brut a scăzut, în timp ce bugetele naţionale au crescut în aceeaşi perioadă în medie cu 23%, respectiv aproape s-au triplat;

Prima etapă a reformei: un sistem îmbunătăţit de contribuţii naţionale

12. recunoaşte faptul că orice reformă a sistemului de resurse proprii va fi un exerciţiu delicat şi dificil, care va fi pusă în aplicare cu ajutorul parlamentelor statelor membre; solicită, prin urmare, o abordare progresivă care ar putea fi introdusă în două etape, dar care ar trebui să facă parte dintr-o decizie unică, datorită faptului că procedura comunitară laborioasă ar face imposibilă adoptarea a două decizii într-o perioadă de timp relativ scurtă. Prima etapă, provizorie şi de tranziţie, ar duce la îmbunătăţirea sistemului actual de contribuţii naţionale, pentru care ar trebui să se aplice următoarele principii politice:

· egalitate între statele membre

· prezentare simplă pentru reprezentanţii aleşi şi cetăţeni

· solidaritate şi demnitate egală între statele membre

· stabilirea unei legături politice între reforma veniturilor şi revizuirea cheltuielilor, aşa cum este inclusă în mod corect în Acordul Interinsituţional;

Egalitate între statele membre

13. defineşte principiul de „egalitate între statele membre” ca absenţa oricărui privilegiu bugetar pentru oricare dintre statele membre; admite că lunga tradiţie a regimurilor speciale în materie de venituri şi a unui anumit mod de distribuţie a cheltuielilor poate, într-adevăr, justifica aplicarea unei reforme doar în mod progresiv (retragerea treptată a vechiului sistem); refuză, cu toate acestea, să accepte lunga tradiţie de avantaje bugetare drept argument în favoarea păstrării unui sistem a cărui existenţă, o dată ce reformele necesare sunt încheiate, nu se va mai justifica;

Prezentarea simplă

14. subliniază importanţa prezentării sistemului îmbunătăţit în modul cel mai simplu, astfel încât acesta să fie inteligibil şi transparent pentru cetăţenii europeni; deplânge prezentarea unor decizii care afectează vieţile tuturor cetăţenilor europeni într-un mod complet ininteligibil, cum ar fi concluziile privind finanţarea UE ale Consiliului European de la Bruxelles din decembrie 2005;

Solidaritate şi demnitate egală între statele membre

15. solicită înfiinţarea unui sistem de protecţie a principiilor de solidaritate şi demnitate egală între statele membre; consideră că aceste principii sunt distruse de păstrarea unor privilegii în favoarea unora, în timp ce altele sunt compensate prin tratative umilitoare în spatele uşilor închise la reuniunile Consiliului European; reaminteşte că, din cele 46 de articole din concluziile Consiliului European de la Bruxelles din decembrie 2005 privind cheltuielile de la noul Capitolul 1b – Strategia de coeziune pentru creştere economică şi ocupare a forţei de muncă, 20 sunt „Dispoziţii suplimentare” prin care se acordă în mod neîngrădit diverse beneficii în favoarea mai multor state membre sau regiuni(16).

Legătura politică dintre reforma veniturilor şi cea a cheltuielilor

16. este convins că legătura politică dintre reforma veniturilor şi revizuirea cheltuielilor este inevitabilă şi perfect rezonabilă, în special atât timp cât logica finanţării politicilor Comunităţii din bugetele naţionale reprezintă încă un principiu fundamental al Uniunii;

Caracterul provizoriu şi de tranziţie al sistemului

17. indică faptul că orice sistem actual îmbunătăţit reprezentând prima etapă a abordării sugerate şi articulată în două etape trebuie să fie considerat provizoriu şi de tranziţie, deoarece gravele punctele slabe ale sistemului de contribuţii ale statelor membre fac ca acesta să nu poată beneficia de o susţinere politică;

Recomandări în vederea îmbunătăţirii sistemului de contribuţii naţionale

Propunerile comisarului Schreyer

18. aminteşte că s-au făcut propuneri de îmbunătăţire a sistemului de finanţare actual, cum ar fi cele înaintate de Comisarul Michaele Schreyer în iulie 2004(17), conform cărora:

· fiecare stat membru, indiferent de nivelul său de prosperitate, are dreptul la o reducere, care va fi acordată în momentul în care contribuţia la bugetul UE atinge pragul de 0,35% din venitul naţional brut,

· rambursarea se va face sub forma unei reduceri egale cu 66% din contribuţia netă a statului membru şi

· valoarea maximă rambursabilă disponibilă pentru toate reducerile este limitată la 7,5 miliarde de euro pe an;

19. admite faptul că anumite aspecte ale propunerilor Schreyer mergeau în direcţia bună, în măsura în care acestea ar fi făcut ca sistemul să fie mai transparent, abolind măcar principiul „reducerii la reducere”, sau ar fi limitat compensările şi corecţiile – având avantajul principal de a fi concepute doar ca sistem tradiţional până în 2014;

20. cu toate acestea, este convins că generalizarea unei reduceri, chiar dacă este prevăzută cu un plafon pentru soldurile bugetare nete, ar fi o greşeală dublă deoarece ar duce la consolidarea caracterului anti-comunitar al sistemului şi ar consolida abordarea limitată a unui „juste retour” cuantificabil; subliniază faptul că singura soluţie posibilă este eliminarea, o dată pentru totdeauna, a sistemului de solduri bugetare nete, în paralel cu o reformă a schemei de cheltuieli; subliniază că ceea ce individualizează sistemul de cheltuieli european este tocmai valoarea sa adăugată, bazată pe principiul solidarităţii financiare;

Problema cheltuielilor structurale şi de coeziune

21. respinge în mod categoric ideea inclusă în alte propuneri de reformă de excludere a cheltuielilor structurale şi de coeziune din toate calculele, cu scopul de a stabili contribuţiile sau reducerile statelor membre, deoarece un astfel de pas ar putea genera o diferenţiere a cheltuielilor în cheltuieli „nobile” şi „suspecte”, punând bazele unei Uniuni Europene „à la carte”, în care politicile sunt finanţate în cele din urmă de statele membre care sunt interesate de acestea;

Concluzie

22. ia notă de propunerea înaintată de Finlanda în aprilie 2004 referitoare la înlocuirea sistemului actual de finanţare al Uniunii Europene, menţinând resursele proprii tradiţionale, printr-un sistem care are la bază venitul naţional brut, considerând cotele din venitul naţional brut ca bază pentru contribuţia statelor membre la resursele proprii ale Uniunii, eliminând resursa provenind din TVA în forma sa actuală, întrucât nu constituie decât o bază matematică pentru calcularea contribuţiilor naţionale, şi scăzând treptat reducerea acordată Regatului Unit, astfel încât aceasta să ajungă la zero în 2013;

23. subliniază faptul că acest sistem ar avea avantajul de a fi simplu şi transparent şi de a constitui un posibil pas către instituirea unui sistem autentic de resurse proprii al Uniunii, precum şi faptul că toate statele membre care contribuie în prezent la reducerea acordată Regatului Unit ar avea de câştigat de pe urma acestui sistem, la fel cum Regatul Unit ar avea de câştigat din eliminarea resursei provenind din TVA; subliniază că aceasta nu aduce atingere includerii pe termen lung a TVA-ului în finanţarea UE;

24. este conştient de faptul că un acord privind un nou sistem de finanţare în sensul propunerii finlandeze este acceptabil din punct de vedere politic numai în cadrul unui proces de negociere globală care include şi cheltuielile; invită Comisia să ia în considerare sistemul bazat pe venitul naţional brut descris mai sus în elaborarea viitoarelor propuneri privind veniturile UE, respectând procesul de revizuire prevăzut în Acordul Interinstituţional din 17 mai 2006;

25. subliniază că legătura dintre venituri şi cheltuieli ar trebui să constituie un aspect al argumentelor în favoarea trecerii la un nou sistem; respinge orice încercare de a re-naţionaliza Politica Agricolă Comună; propune, prin urmare, să se folosească posibilitatea de introducere treptată a procesului de cofinanţare obligatorie din cadrul UE-15, pentru a garanta nivelul de susţinere prevăzut prin decizia Consiliului European din octombrie 2002;

26. recomandă ca prima etapă a reformei să poată începe imediat după ratificarea acordului care trebuie încheiat; menţinând totodată sistemul de contribuţii naţionale ca atare, ar fi mai simplu, mai transparent şi absolut proporţional cu resursele fiecărui stat membru; subliniază, totuşi, natura temporară a unei asemenea etape, datorită faptului că singurul său scop ar fi pregătirea terenului pentru introducerea unui nou sistem autentic de resurse proprii;

A doua etapă a reformei: un nou sistem de resurse proprii

27. confirmă opiniile exprimate anterior, cu privire la faptul că scopul reformei veniturilor Comunităţii trebuie să fie crearea unei resurse proprii autentice, pentru ca Uniunea Europeană să înlocuiască mecanismele existente; aminteşte faptul că acest obiectiv şi propunerile pentru realizarea sa nu sunt deloc revoluţionare, ci doar încearcă să respecte textul şi spiritul tratatelor de instituire;

28. consideră că următoarele principii, care au reieşit din contactele cu parlamentele naţionale, sunt fundamentale pentru orice viitor sistem de resurse proprii:

· Respectarea strictă a principiului suveranităţii fiscale a statelor membre

· Neutralitate fiscală

· Lipsa modificărilor cu privire la ritmul de creştere a bugetului UE

· Introducerea treptată a noului sistem

· Stabilirea unei legături politice clare între reforma bugetului de venituri şi reforma bugetului de cheltuieli;

Respectarea strictă a principiului suveranităţii fiscale a statelor membre

29. consideră că, astfel cum se menţionează în tratate şi în proiectul de Constituţie, suveranitatea fiscală va aparţine în continuare statelor membre, care pot totuşi autoriza Uniunea pe o perioadă limitată de timp, ce poate fi revocată oricând, să beneficieze direct de o anumită cotă dintr-un impozit, aşa cum este cazul autorităţilor locale sau regionale din majoritatea statelor membre;

Neutralitate fiscală

30. are convingerea că, toate celelalte aspecte fiind identice, noul sistem nu trebuie să majoreze cheltuielile publice generale şi nici sarcina fiscală pentru cetăţeni; conchide că, în eventualitatea în care un nou sistem ar aloca un venit fiscal, vizibil tuturor cetăţenilor, parţial sau în întregime, direct Uniunii Europene, va fi necesară acordarea unei reduceri echivalente într-o altă zonă; sugerează ca toate curţile naţionale de conturi şi Curtea de Conturi Europeană să fie invitate să verifice şi să garanteze conformitatea cu acest principiu;

31. consideră că dezvoltarea unui nou sistem de resurse proprii trebuie să ia în considerare eforturile statelor membre de a-şi coordona politicile în domeniul fiscalităţii;

Lipsa modificărilor cu privire la ritmul de creştere a bugetului UE

32. nu consideră că, în prezent, este necesară modificarea plafonului de 1,24% din venitul naţional brut care permite deja o marjă considerabilă de manevră; reaminteşte că niciun buget nu s-a apropiat vreodată de acest plafon, stabilit chiar de statele membre în anul 1992, sub preşedinţia Regatului Unit, creditele de plată atingând nivelul maxim în 1993, respectiv 1,18% din produsul naţional brut; subliniază faptul că, deşi cadrul financiar preconizează un procent de 1,045% din venitul naţional brut în perioada 2007–2013, primul buget pentru această perioadă a fost adoptat la un nivel relativ scăzut, de 0,99% din venitul naţional brut;

Introducerea treptată a noului sistem

33. invită la o introducere treptată a noului sistem începând cu 2014; este în favoarea acordării unei perioade de tranziţie pentru a garanta o retragere treptată a vechiului sistem de finanţare împreună cu toate regimurile sale speciale tradiţionale;

Stabilirea unei legături politice clare între reforma bugetului de venituri şi reforma bugetului de cheltuieli

34. subliniază faptul că reforma structurii bugetului de venituri şi reforma structurii bugetului de cheltuieli al UE trebuie să se desfăşoare în paralel, aşa cum a fost prevăzut în Declaraţia nr.3 anexată noului Acord Interinstituţional din 17 mai 2006;

35. observă că un sistem de resurse proprii care să asigure o creştere automată suficientă a veniturilor bugetului anual al UE va îmbunătăţi climatul politic al procesului de decizie în domeniul bugetar, permiţând factorilor de decizie să se concentreze asupra priorităţilor cheie, cu valoare adăugată a UE, în locul negocierilor privind nivelurile de cheltuieli;

36. salută iniţiativa lansată în cadrul reuniunilor comune dintre Parlamentul European şi parlamentele statelor membre de a constitui un grup de lucru special privind resursele proprii; consideră că dialogul cu parlamentele statelor membre este esenţial dacă se înregistrează progrese în ceea ce priveşte reforma resurselor proprii;

Opţiuni posibile pentru viitor

37. reiterează faptul că, în cadrul contactelor cu parlamentele naţionale ale statelor membre, s-a creat un consens general cu privire la faptul că nu a sosit încă momentul, în contextul unei viziuni pe termen scurt, pentru impunerea unui nou impozit european autentic; subliniază, totuşi, că aceasta nu exclude posibilitatea ca, dacă şi atunci când statele membre decid să perceapă noi taxe, ele să poată, în acelaşi timp, sau ulterior, să decidă autorizarea Uniunii de a beneficia direct de aceste noi impozite;

38. subliniază, cu toate acestea, că va fi esenţial ca, în a doua etapă, să se analizeze crearea unui nou sistem de resurse proprii bazat pe un impozit deja perceput în statele membre, astfel încât acest impozit să fie, parţial sau în întregime, virat direct către bugetul UE, ca o resursă proprie reală, stabilind astfel o legătură directă între Uniune şi contribuabilii europeni; atrage atenţia asupra faptului că aceasta ar contribui şi la armonizarea legislaţiilor naţionale în domeniul fiscalităţii; subliniază faptul că acest tip de soluţie ar marca doar o revenire la principiul prevăzut de Tratatul de la Roma, prin care cheltuielile europene trebuie să fie finanţate din resurse europene proprii;

39. reaminteşte că impozitele prevăzute total sau parţial, care au fost luate în considerare în acest scop în cadrul schimburilor cu parlamentele naţionale sau în rapoartele Comisiei privind reforma sistemului de resurse proprii, includ următoarele:

· TVA

· accizele la combustibilul destinat transportului şi alte impozite în domeniul energetic

· accizele la tutun şi alcool

· impozitele pe profit;

40. constată că o serie de alte posibilităţi au fost, de asemenea, explorate în cursul dezbaterilor din cadrul Parlamentului European, printre care:

· taxe pe tranzacţii privind valori mobiliare

· taxe pe serviciile de transport sau de telecomunicaţii

· impozitul pe venit

· impozitul pe plăţile de dobândă

· profitul BCE (seigniorage);

· o taxă ecologică

· taxe pe tranzacţii valutare

· impozitul pe economii

· taxa pe tranzacţiile financiare (taxa Tobin);

41. Consideră că oportunitatea unui nou sistem de resurse proprii ar trebui să fie analizată în conformitate cu următoarele criterii:

· Suficienţă: Vor fi veniturile suficiente pentru a acoperi cheltuielile UE pe termen lung?

· Stabilitate: Va genera acest sistem venituri stabile pentru bugetul UE?

· Vizibilitate şi simplitate: Va fi acest sistem vizibil pentru cetăţenii UE şi pe înţelesul lor?

· Costuri operaţionale scăzute: Va fi acest sistem uşor de administrat şi va implica costuri reduse?

· Alocarea eficientă a resurselor: Va duce acest sistem la o alocare eficientă a resurselor în cadrul UE?

· Echitate verticală: Va implica acest sistem o redistribuire a veniturilor?

· Echitate orizontală: Va avea acest sistem un impact egal asupra contribuabililor corespunzători la nivelul întregii Uniuni Europene?

· Contribuţii corecte: Va creşte această resursă veniturile provenind din partea statelor membre proporţional cu puterea lor economică?

42. doreşte să realizeze, în strânsă colaborare cu parlamentele naţionale, o analiză a acestor opţiuni, înainte de adopta o poziţie finală; atribuie un grad înalt de prioritate stabilirii unei baze comune de discuţie cu privire la viitoarea revizuire a veniturilor UE, dacă este posibil sub Preşedinţia portugheză; va depune toate eforturile pentru a ajunge la o poziţie cu privire la viitorul resurselor proprii ale Uniunii, care să poată fi sprijinită de majoritatea parlamentelor statelor membre;

43. consideră această rezoluţie o primă, dar solidă, bază pe care să fie depuse viitoarele eforturi de găsire a unui nou sistem de finanţare a Uniunii Europene, mai echitabil şi mai transparent; intenţionează să dezbată şi să adopte poziţia sa finală cu privire la un nou sistem de resurse proprii al Uniunii Europene în timp util, astfel încât aceasta să poată fi luată în considerare în cadrul lucrărilor pe tema revizuirii detaliate a sistemului de venituri şi cheltuieli al UE, astfel cum a fost convenit în cadrul IIA din 17 mai 2006;

o

o   o

44. încredinţează Preşedintelui sarcina de a transmite prezenta rezoluţie şi anexa sa Consiliului, Comisiei, precum şi guvernelor şi parlamentelor statelor membre.

ANNEX

Exceptions introduced by the European Council in December 2005 on the expenditure and income side of the budget, namely:

Earmarked for Projects:

· EUR 865 Mio. for the nuclear power plant Ignalina (LIT) and 375 Mio. for the nuclear power plant Bohunice (SLK)

· 200 Mio. for the peace process in Northern Ireland (UK)

Earmarked for Regions

· 879 Mio. for five Polish Objective 2 regions (EUR 107 per citizen)

· 140 Mio. for a Hungarian region (Közép-Magyarország)

· 200 Mio. for Prague

· "phasing-out" support for a Finnish Region and Madeira, which were originally "phasing-in" regions

· 100 Mio. for the Canary Islands

· 150 Mio. for Austrian border regions

· 75 Mio. for Bavaria

· 50 Mio. for Ceuta and Melilla (ES)

· 225 Mio. for eastern German Länder

· 136 Mio. for the most remote regions (EUR 35 per citizen)

· 150 Mio. for the Swedish regions in Objective "Competitiveness and Employment"

Special Funds for Member States

· absorption rate for Poland raised by 4%

· "phasing-in" support for Cyprus, despite never being Objective 1 region

· 2 000 Mio. for Spain, to be distributed freely among Structural Fund Objectives

· 1 400 Mio. for Italy (predefined distribution)

· 100 Mio. for France (Objective: "Regional Competitiveness and Employment")

· 47 Mio. for Estonia (EUR 35 per citizen)

· 81 Mio. for Lithuania (EUR 35 per citizen)

· additional payments from rural development:

o 1 350 Mio. for Austria

o 20 Mio. for Luxemburg

o 460 Mio. for Finland

o 100 Mio. for France

o 500 Mio. for Ireland

o 820 Mio. for Sweden

o 500 Mio. for Italy

o 320 Mio. for Portugal

Special Conditions

· 50% increased support for the former exterior borders to ROM and BLG, compared to regular support for border regions

· private Co-Financing can be counted in for Structural Fund supported projects in new Member States (per capita GDP <85% of EU average) and eastern German Länder

· in the new Member States (<85%), VAT can be considered eligible cost for Structural Fund projects

Special Conditions in Legal Bases

· departing from "n+2" rule for new Member States (<85%) in 2007-2010

· building projects are eligible for support in the new Member States (EU10 + ROM, BLG)

· 20% of funds from the first pillar (Agriculture) can be used by each country for rural development, disregarding general rules such as co-financing

· special funds for rural development in Portugal (320 Mio.), without co-financing

Special Conditions for Financing the Budget

· rate-of-call for VAT own resources contribution is reduced by 25% for Austria

· rate-of-call for VAT own resources contribution is reduced by 50% for Germany

· rate-of-call for VAT own resources contribution is reduced by 66% for Sweden and the Netherlands

· Netherlands gets 4 230 Mio. (GNI 'own-resources')

· Sweden gets 1 050 Mio. (GNI 'own resources')

· the rebate for the UK is kept, reduced by certain phased-in payments for the new Member States.

 · 

(1)

JO C 324, 24.12.1990, p. 243.

(2)

JO C 128, 9.5.1994, p. 363.

(3)

JO L 293, 12.11.1994, p. 9.

(4)

JO C 175, 21.6.1999, p. 238.

(5)

JO C 274 E, 28.9.1999, p. 39.

(6)

JO L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42.

(7)

COM(2004)0505.

(8)

COM(2004)0501.

(9)

Studiu realizat de Grupul de studiu pentru politici europene (SEP), pentru care a se vedea, de asemenea, anexa: comentarii privind adecvarea veniturilor fiscale provenite dintr-o eventuală resursă proprie fiscală a UE, 30 august 2005.

(10)

COM(2006)0099.

(11)

Texte adoptate, P6_TA(2006)0292.

(12)

Studiu efectuat de Deloitte şi Touche: Raport Etapa a II-a – proiect preliminar, 12.1.2007

(13)

JO C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.

(14)

Ilustrate, de pildă, de Raportul Cornelissen: Parlamentul European 1985: „Poate, oare, Parlamentul tolera faptul că veniturile din TVA sunt, din ce în ce mai mult, reduse la o contribuţie financiară naţională, ca urmare a renunţării necesare la principiul ratei uniforme de TVA şi poate el accepta faptul că stabilirea bazei uniforme de TVA este redusă, în ultimă instanţă, la un calcul statistic? ... Sau trebuie depuse toate eforturile în legătură cu calcularea bazei TVA pentru a da un nou impuls sistemului de resurse proprii al Comunităţii şi autonomiei financiare a acesteia, care depinde de sistemul respectiv”.

(15)

Texte adoptate, P6_TA(2006)0292.

(16)

A se vedea ANEXA la rezoluţie.

(17)

„Raportul Schreyer”: COM(2004)505 şi COM(2004)501 din 14 iulie 2004.


EXPUNERE DE MOTIVE

The current own initiative report on the future of the European Union's own resources has to be seen in the context of preparing for the "full and wide-ranging review of all areas of EU expenditure and revenue, including the British rebate", which the Commission has been invited to undertake by the Brussels European Council of last December, with a view to reporting in 2008 / 2009.

Your rapporteur, in his report on the latest own resources proposal presented by the Commission in early 2006 aiming at implementing the relevant decisions taken by the Brussels European Council, has already stated that the flaws of the current own resources system are fundamental. This is why your rapporteur in 2006 did not even start trying to amend the provisions of that Commission proposal which just make the current system even more intransparent, complicated, unfair and anti-European.

The contents of the own initiative report are very much based on the meetings your rapporteur has had with national parliamentarians since the beginning of 1996. While some national parliaments chose to reply in writing to the questionnaire on own resources sent to them in November 2005, others preferred a more personal exchange of views: So far your rapporteur has been invited to the national parliaments of nine Member States. Regardless of whether these meetings were of a more formal (committee meetings) or a more informal nature (working lunches): At this stage, the opinions expressed on these occasions by the interested national parliamentarians have to be considered the personal views of those taking the floor - so far, no national parliament nor any political party has yet established a formal stance on the question of the future of the Union's own resources!

Nevertheless, these personal encounters and the lively discussions taking place at the multilateral meetings (two joint parliamentary meetings in 2006 and the two COBU meetings with the chairs of the national parliaments' budgets committees in 2005 and 2006) have seemed to allow your rapporteur to draw some first conclusions on the do's, the don'ts and the maybe's in connection with any future reform of EU revenue.

Some first possible points of consensus have slowly but surely started to arise, like for example a general rejection of the idea of a genuine new European tax or of a transfer of any power of taxation to the European level. On the other hand, a vast majority of those national colleagues who expressed themselves were quite open to discuss the possibility of using a part of an existing tax to finance the European Union, even freely pondering on "suitable" candidate taxes ...

A lot of work still needs to be done in order to arrive at a final decision on which option would best serve the need for a new, truly European, own resources system, that is equitable, simple and transparent. Your rapporteur hopes that in the course of 2007 a common dossier can be established in close cooperation with the national parliaments that could be the basis for the future decisions that need to be taken in order to seize the opportunities of the coming review process.


ANEXE LA EXPUNEREA DE MOTIVE

DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 1 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE

27 January 2005

History of the European Community's revenue

Under the current system there are four main sources(1) of revenue for the European Community:

Customs duties are levied at external frontiers on imports under the common customs tariff. The Treaty of Rome had earmarked customs duties as the principal resource to be assigned to the EEC to finance its expenditure. ECSC customs duties have been included since 1988.

Agricultural levies were introduced under the common agricultural policy in 1962, are charged on trade in agricultural products with non-member countries and vary according to price levels on the world and European markets. Besides agricultural levies, there are also levies on the production and storage of sugar and isoglucose (unlike the levies on agricultural imports, they are internal to the Community).

Customs duties and agricultural levies were the first own resources and became known as traditional own resources (TOR) because they are revenue collected by virtue of Community policies rather than revenue obtained from the Member States as national contributions.

VAT own resources were introduced because the traditional own resources were not sufficient to finance the Community budget. Because of the need to harmonise the VAT base this complex resource did not come into use until 1980. It is obtained by applying a given rate to a base determined in a uniform manner.(2) Thus it is not a true own resource based on a tax levied nationally, but only a way to calculate a Member State's contribution.

The GNI-based own resource is obtained by applying a rate fixed each year under the budget procedure to a base representing the sum of the gross national products at market prices. It is calculated by reference to the difference between expenditure and the yield of the other own resources. It is the "key" resource, as it determines the cap on the VAT base, how the cost of the UK rebate is shared, and the ceiling on total resources under the financial perspective. The Edinburgh agreement of December 1992, which entered into force at the beginning of 1995, increased this overall ceiling from originally 1.14% to 1.27% of Europe's GNP.

The origins of own resources

1958 - 1970: Contributions from the Member States

Under the Treaty of Rome of 25 March 1957 the European Economic Community was to be financed by national contributions for a transitional period before changing over to a system of own resources(3). The principle was set down in Article 201 of the Treaty, which stated: "Without prejudice to other revenue, the budget shall be financed wholly from own resources."

In 1965 a first attempt to transfer customs duties and agricultural levies - the "natural" own resources deriving from Community policies (the customs union and the common agricultural policy) - failed in the face of French opposition. The ensuing "crisis" was resolved a year later by the famous Luxembourg compromise but the 1966 target date for the changeover to a system of financing that would guarantee the Community some measure of independence could not be kept. It was not until the Hague summit in 1969 that the Heads of State or Government, in an effort to revive the Community after some years of difficulty, finally took the decision to go ahead with the change.

1970: First own resources decision

On 21 April 1970 the Council adopted a decision assigning to the Communities own resources to cover all their expenditure. This decision marked the end of national contributions, through which the Member States had enjoyed some scope for controlling the policies undertaken by the Communities, and the beginning of an independent system of financing by "traditional" own resources (agricultural levies and customs duties) and a resource based on value added tax (VAT).

The 1970 decision on own resources set the Communities apart from other international organisations, which all rely for funding on contributions from their members.

1985: Second own resources decision - British rebate

In 1984 the Fontainebleau European Council decided to introduce a correction for the United Kingdom. This mechanism gives the United Kingdom a rebate equivalent to 0.66% of its net balance. The cost of financing the UK rebate is shared between the other Member States according to their share of GNP (except in the case of Germany, whose share is reduced by a third).

1988: Third own resources decision - Introduction of GNP based resource and overall ceiling

Since CAP spending remained unchanged and the revenues from TORs continued to decline, in 1988, the Brussels European Council introduced a new own resource based on the Member States' GNP. It also set up an overall ceiling of 1.14% percent of GNP to the total amount of own resources which could be called to finance the Community's spending.

1994: Fourth own resources decision - Deduction of collection costs for traditional own resources

Own resources are collected by the Member States on behalf of the Community. Therefore, the 1994 decision allowed for the Member States to retain 10% of the traditional own resources they collected in order to cover their collection costs.

2000: Fifth own resources decision(4) - "Equitable, transparent, cost-effective and simple"

In 1999, the Berlin European Council called on the Commission to prepare a new own resources decision which should provide the Union with adequate means for the period 2000-2006 while at the same time adhering to strict budgetary discipline. The new system should be “equitable, transparent, cost-effective and simple”, and based on criteria which express best the member States' ability to contribute to the financing of the Union.

This latest Own Resources Decision of 29 September 2000 has entered into force on 1 March 2002. The revision clause it contains calls on the Commission to undertake a general review of the own resources system before 2006 in the light of the effects of enlargement. The review is also to explore the possibility of modifying the structure of the own resources system by creating new autonomous resources and examining the correction of budgetary imbalances granted to the UK.

The main features of the system currently in force are:

Ø the own resources ceiling remains at 1.27% of the Union's GNP (=1.24% of GNI)(5);

Ø the allowance for the collection cost of own resources has risen from 10% to 25%;

Ø the maximum call-in rate of VAT was reduced to 0.75% in 2002 and 2003, and to 0.50% from 2004;

Ø the value added tax base of the Member States continues to be restricted to 50% of their GNP (capping of the VAT base);

Ø Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden pay only 1/4 of their normal share of the cost of the UK rebate. The remaining 3/4 are financed by the other 10 Member States;

Ø two technical adjustments were made to the UK rebate to offset the windfall effects arising from the increase in collection costs and pre-accession expenditure.

British rebate

The so-called British rebate was established by the Fontainebleau European Council in 1984, which stated in its conclusions:

Expenditure policy is ultimately the essential means of resolving the question of budgetary imbalances. However, it has been decided that any Member State sustaining a budgetary burden which is excessive in relation to its relative prosperity may benefit from a correction at the appropriate time.

The origin of the problem was the special situation of the United Kingdom which was characterised by two factors:

Ø a small agricultural sector resulting in very low Community agricultural spending in the UK

Ø a large contribution to the financing of the Community budget because of the large proportion of the country's GNP accounted for by the VAT base.

Under the current compensation mechanism, two thirds (66%) of the difference between the United Kingdom's percentage share of VAT payments and its percentage share of allocated Community expenditure, applied to total allocated expenditure, is refunded to the United Kingdom by way of a reduction in its VAT base.

Since 1985 the United Kingdom has thus been receiving a rebate on its yearly contribution to the budget, amounting to a yearly EUR 4,6 billion average over 1997-2003.

This rebate is financed jointly by all the other Member States in accordance with their respective percentage of VAT payments with Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden only paying a quarter of what their shares ought to be.

Despite the general approach the Fontainebleau Council took ("any Member state sustaining an excessive budgetary burden"), this correction mechanism has ever since applied only to the UK. Over the years, slowly but surely, it has become obvious that the presence of the UK rebate has noticeably reduced the desired correlation between the ability of each Member State to contribute to the EU budget and its own resources payments. In addition, the complexity of the correction mechanism has also considerably diminished the transparency of the whole own resources system.

Shares of the main own resources components

From the introduction of the GNP-based resource in 1988 until today the share of each individual component in the Community's revenue has undergone a dramatic change:

Type of

revenue

88

89

90

91

92

93

94

95

96

97

98

99

00

01

02

03

04*

05**

Agricultural duties and

sugar levies

6,2

5,2

4,0

4,4

3,3

2,9

3,1

2,6

2,2

2,4

2,3

2,5

2,3

2,1

1,5

1,5

1,2

1,5

Customs

duties

22,3

22,5

22,1

20,4

18,9

16,8

16,9

16,7

14,5

15,2

14,4

13,5

13,0

14,5

10,7

10,2

10,2

9,8

VAT

resource

57,2

57,3

59,1

55,8

58,0

52,5

50,4

52,2

41,8

42,5

39,2

35,9

38,1

32,7

23,6

23,5

14,4

14,0

GNI based

resource

10,6

9,8

0,2

13,3

13,9

25,2

26,8

18,9

29,0

33,4

41,4

43,2

42,3

37,5

48,7

55,5

73,4

73,8

Miscellaneous - Surplus from previous year

3,7

5,2

14,6

6,1

5,8

2,6

2,7

9,7

12,5

6,5

2,7

5,0

4,3

13,1

17,6

9,2

0,8

0,9

TOTAL %

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*          based on Budget 2004

**        based on PDB 2005

Clearly, the GNI based resource has become overwhelmingly important while the share of traditional own resources has shown a trend to decline dramatically (accelerated by the fact that the percentage Member States were permitted to retain to compensate for their collection costs was raised from 10% to 25% with effect of 1 January 2001). VAT contributions have also declined due to the reforms limiting the VAT base of the Member States to 50% of their GNI.

With the introduction of the GNP resource and the reduction in the VAT call-up rate, Member States' contributions have become more closely correlated with national GNPs; this means improved equity(6) in gross budget contributions. While this development might lead to a closer correlation of the Member States' ability to contribute with their actual levels of contributions, at the same time, the decline of traditional own resources has resulted in a loss of financial autonomy for the European Union.

(1)

In addition, there are some small "specific resources" (results of measures taken by the Commission), such as taxes and contributions paid by staff, income from interest and guarantees, and other miscellaneous charges levied.

(2)

From 1988 to 1994 the base could not exceed 55% of the Member States' GNP. After 1995 the limit was lowered to 50% of GNP for Member States with a per capita GNP below 90% of the Community average. Between 1995 and 1999 the new limit was gradually extended to all the Member States. The maximum call-in rate of VAT was originally limited to 1% of the base. From 1986 this ceiling was raised to 1.4% to meet the costs of the Spanish and Portuguese enlargement. The 1994 own resources decision however, for reasons of equity, provided for a gradual return to the 1% limit between 1995 and 1999. In 2002 and 2003, the maximum rate was reduced to 0.75% , and from 2004 to 0.50%.

(3)

Own resources can be taken to mean a source of finance separate and independent of the Member States, some kind of tax revenue assigned once and for all to the Community to fund its budget and due to it by right without the need for any subsequent decision by the national authorities. The Member States, then, would be required to make payments available to the Community for its budget.

(4)

Council Decision 2000/597/EC, Euratom, of 29 September 2000 on the system of the European Communities' own resources, OJ L 253, 07.10.2000.

(5)

As from the year 2002, the concept of gross national product (GNP) has been replaced by the concept of gross national income (GNI) in the EU budgetary and own resources area. Thus, percentages for years before 2002 relate to the GNP, later ones to the GNI. For example: The EU expenditure ceiling of 1.27% of GNP corresponds to 1.24% of GNI using the new statistical approach.

(6)

In the sense of “proportionality of gross contributions to income across Member States”; it has to be noted, however, that under the current system perfect equity cannot be expected since the VAT resource will continue to yield revenues which will not be correlated with national income.


DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 2 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE

27 January 2005

The current Own Resources system - Problems and shortcomings

The net-payer debate

Traditional own resources are the only true own resources of the Union (although Member States tend to also regard them as national contributions). The lower their share becomes, the more the EU will depend on what is considered classical intergovernmental transfers. This, in turn, will almost automatically lead Member States to try and maximise concepts of the national benefit from the EU budget. The more it is generally felt that it is the Member States' money that is transferred to Brussels rather than the EU’s genuinely own resources, the more Member States will concentrate on what they get in return. This is why the concept of “budgetary balances”, the roles of “net payers” and “net receivers”, have become so important.

Budgetary balances

Nevertheless, it has to be pointed out that - although there is an established system of calculating Member States' budgetary balances(1) - this is merely an accounting exercise of the purely financial costs and benefits that each Member State derives from the Union. It does not take any account of many of the other benefits gained from EU policies such as those relating to the internal market and economic integration, not to mention political stability and security.

Bearing in mind these limitations, what do the budgetary balances actually show? They show the relation between the share of a Member State in total payments of the VAT-based and GNP/GNI-based own resources and its share in total EU operating expenditure (i.e. excluding administrative expenditure) allocated to the Member States.

The following table gives a picture of these "operational" budgetary balances (after deduction of the UK rebate) between 1997 and 2003:

Letter of the Six

As can be clearly seen, this division among the Member States between net-contributors and net-receivers, as little indication as it might give on the overall benefits of EU-membership, has not significantly changed over the last few years. It provides the context for the famous letter signed by six Heads of State - all net-contributors - after the European Council of Brussels on the future EU expenditure level:

We see in this context no room for a EU-budget near the current ceiling for own resources. Average expenditure during the next financial perspective should in our view be stabilised around current expenditure levels, and should not exceed 1.0% of GNI, including agriculture spending within the ceiling set by the European Council in October 2002. This would still allow for annual increases on the EU-budget well above growth rates of national budgets in most Member States, and permit a sufficient margin for policy-implementation in the enlarged Union.

With this letter the main net-contributors to the EU budget have made a strong statement which has become almost an official starting point for the negotiations on the new financial perspectives 2007-2013. In the meantime, the discussion has even gone so far as to imply that the figure of 1.0% of GNI, as mentioned in the letter, refers to commitment appropriations and not to payments as initially taken for granted.

Comparison EU budget - national budgets

Judging from the Letter of the Six it might seem as if the EU budget has gone totally out of control in the recent past. However, a closer look at the development of the EU budget over the last few years reveals that during the period 1996(2)-2002 the EU budget only increased by 8,2 % while the national budgets increased by an average of 22.9 %:

                                    Current prices, € million

 

1996

2002

Increase

B

112,371

131,281

16.8 %

DK

86,187

101,989

18.3 %

D

944,279

1,023,870

8.4 %

GR

48,170

66,266

37.6 %

E

210,036

276,507

31.6 %

F

678,048

812,935

19.9 %

IRL

22,802

43,070

88.9 %

I

516,521

599,804

16.1 %

L

6,515

9,909

52.1 %

NL

161,044

211,162

31.1 %

A

103,542

112,094

8.3 %

P

40,459

59,573

47.2 %

FIN

60,051

69,795

16.2 %

S

139,206

149,420

7.3 %

UK

403,057

675,191

67.5 %

TOTAL

3,532,288

4,342,866

22.9 %

 

1996

2002

Increase

EU budget

77,032

83,371

8.2%

This very modest increase is even more remarkable considering the fact that, in the meantime, the Union has become responsible for more and more policies. It has thus gained a great number of competencies while at the same time its financial resources have remained very limited.

Discrepancy between expenditure ceilings and actual expenditure

Not only has the EU budget grown much more slowly than the budgets of the Member States: Concerning payments(3), the EU budgets of the last few years have not only remained considerably under the maximum own resources ceiling of 1,27% of GNP/1,24% of GNI set by the Member States but also under the payment ceilings of the current financial perspective which range from a minimum of 1,07% of GNI in 2000 to a maximum of 1,11% of GNI for 2003 and 2004:

Payments in % of GNP/GNI(4)

Payments in % of GNP/GNI

1986

0.99

1996

1.14

1987

0.96

1997

1.12

1988

1.03

1998

1.08

1989

0.94

1999

1.03

1990

0.94

2000

0.99

1991

1.03

2001

0.92

1992

1.09

2002

0.93

1993

1.18

2003

0.96

1994

1.04

2004

0.98

1995

1.04

2005

1.00

This means that the EU has spent millions of euro less than, according to the decision of the Member States, it could have. Especially after the budgetary procedure for 2005, when the 1% threshold introduced by the Letter of the Six for the first time played such a prominent role, the question remains how the gap between the own resources ceiling of 1,24 % and the actual payment expenditure can be justified. What is the margin left for?

Criticism of Parliament's agreement to the financial perspectives with their rigid classification of expenditure and their rather inflexible heading ceilings, has always been countered by pointing out that at the same time the financial perspectives would guarantee the steady growth of expenditure necessary to finance new policies important to the European citizens. However, the real figures (see table above) indicate that this has not been the case.

Small margin for manoeuvre

Overall, the structure of EU-expenditure has remained more or less the same over the past few years. Despite all efforts to the contrary, agricultural expenditure still accounts for around 50% of the European Union's budget(5):

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004*

2005*

Share of agricultural spending in total EU expenditure

 

50,63%

 

48,08%

 

49,53%

 

48,61%

 

51,93%

 

51,11%

 

49,01%

 

46,91%

 

46,20%

* Budgets EU 25

The agriculture share in expenditure together with the structural funds payments leave very little room for manoeuvre for flexibility with regard to the financing of new policies or priorities.

For example, will the resources at hand truly allow for efforts towards reaching the Lisbon goals for growth, employment and competitiveness? Or even more general, will it be at all possible to finance the needs of 25 (or 27) Member States with regard to maintaining the acquis communautaire, enhancing cohesion and strengthening new neighbourhood policies?

Given this financial framework, can the Union fulfil the provisions of article 6, paragraph 4, of the Nice Treaty according to which "the Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to obtain its objectives and carry through its policies"?

Accordingly, in its proposals for the new financial perspectives, the Commission moves between two options: to give the Union the means to realise its objectives (Lisbon process) on the one hand and to consider threats of budgetary cuts expressed in the Letter of the Six after the European Council of Brussels on the other.

RAL

At the same time as the 1%-discussions have gained momentum, the RAL (outstanding commitments as a consequence of level of payments lower than level of commitments)(6) have kept increasing at a steady pace, in fact, much faster than the budgets.

The following table shows the evolution of overall RAL against the budget (Section III, 1996-2005, in EUR million):

In 1996, overall RAL represented only 56% of the budget, while in 2003 it had already increased to 107% of the budget. Since Headings 1 and 5, which together represent some 50% of the budget, are mainly composed of non-differentiated appropriations and have thus no RAL, the outstanding commitments concentrate in Headings 2, 3, 4 and 7.

Even considering the fact that there has always been some controversy as to which amount/percentage of RAL is "normal" and which is "abnormal", the general perception of RAL as "unspent appropriations" is undoubtedly a factor that will be raised in the coming discussions on the future of own resources.

Political responsibility

The current situation with the European Union's finances is also characterised by the fact that political responsibility for EU revenue and expenditure is split up among a number of independent key actors.

While it is the national parliaments which, in addition to their involvement in the own resources decisions per se, determine the Union's revenue via the tax policies of their countries, it is the European Parliament and Council which decide upon the Union's expenditure.

Here again, there is a splitting of responsibilities - which is anything but transparent - according to the nature of EU-expenditure being obligatory or non-obligatory. The difference between obligatory expenditure where Council has the last say and non-obligatory expenditure where it is up to Parliament to take the final decision may have historical reasons but is not logical anymore and makes the system even more obscure.

The European Council, on the other hand, more and more often takes decisions on new policies or new priorities with far-reaching financial consequences seemingly without giving too much thought to how the budgetary authority is going to make the necessary funds available within the tight framework of the headings of the financial perspective.

(1)

The method used by the Commission is based on the same principles as the method used for the calculation of the correction of budgetary imbalances in favour of the UK. This is the only method that has a degree of formal recognition, based on the June 1984 Fontainebleau agreement. Accordingly, traditional own resources being pure Community revenue are not included in the calculation of the balances. Instead, it is the allocation key of Member States' VAT-based and GNP/GNI-based payments which is used for the calculations.

(2)

1996 was the first year when the entire EU budget involved all 15 current Member States.

(3)

Of course, the same is true for commitments where the actual budget figures have never even come close to the ceiling established by the decision on the system of own resources of 1.31% of GNI and 1.24% in payment appropriations of GNI.

(4)

1986 to 2002 based on the outturn in payments. 2003 to 2005 based on the budget.

(5)

1997 to 2002 based on the outturn in payments. 2003 to 2005 based on the budget.

(6)

RAL, in the first place, thus are a direct and "normal" consequence of differentiated appropriations. However, besides this normal RAL, overall RAL as the total of outstanding commitments which remain to be paid once the conditions for payment are fulfilled also contains potentially abnormal RAL and actually abnormal RAL. Per definitionem, potentially abnormal RAL are dormant commitments in respect of which no payment has been made for the last two financial years or old commitments that have been in the accounts for at least five financial years. In contrast, actually abnormal RAL is the sum of commitments recorded in the accounts which lack a legal or factual justification for payment.


DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 3 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE

27 January 2005

Scenarios for the future of the European Communities' own resources

The current Council Decision of 29 September 2000 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(1), in its Article 9, contains a revision clause according to which

The Commission shall undertake, before 1 January 2006, a general review of the own resources system, accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate proposals, in the light of all relevant factors, including the effects of enlargement on the financing of the budget, the possibility of modifying the structure of the own resources by creating new autonomous own resources and the correction of budgetary imbalances granted to the United Kingdom as well as the granting to Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden of the reduction pursuant to Article 5(1)(2).

In response to a request from the European Parliament and in agreement with Council, the Commission committed itself to present the above mentioned report on the functioning of the financing system at a much earlier date.

On 14 July 2004 it published its Report on the operation of the own resources system(3) together with a proposal for a new Council Decision on own resources, accompanied by a proposal for a Regulation on the implementing measures for the correction of budgetary imbalances(4).

What Parliament expected from a new own resources system it had already formulated in its amendments to the proposal of 1999, stating the need for the European Union

· to create a system that must be "simple and readily understood by the public"

· to base it on criteria that best express "the ability to contribute of the citizens of Europe" while, at the same time, avoiding "recourse to compensation mechanisms for purposes of revenue" but instead correcting imbalances "by reforming the structure of expenditure"

· to "move steadily away from dependence on transfers from Member States"

· to "correct those features of its existing own resources which generate confusion because of the derogations applicable to national contributions".

Generalised correction mechanism

The Commission's own resources proposal does not foresee the introduction of new sources of funding for the next financial perspective. The major change introduced by the proposal concerns the correction mechanism for Member States' excessive budgetary burdens acknowledged as a principle in Fontainebleau in 1984.

The Commission argues in favour of replacing the current system with a generalised correction mechanism (GCM). This proposal for a GCM is based on the fact that despite the very positive evolution of its relative prosperity it remains only the United Kingdom which receives a partial refund of its contribution, while other net contributors with similar or lesser prosperity do not.

The changes in the degree of prosperity enjoyed by EU net contributors since 1984 are outlined in the following table:

GNI per capita of net contributors
(EU-15 average = 100)

 

2003

1984

United Kingdom

111.2

90.6

Denmark

111.1

104.0

Austria

109.8

--

Netherlands

106.6

95.0

Sweden

104.6

--

France

104.2

104.0

Germany

98.6

109.6

Italy

97.3

92.9

The main characteristics of the generalised correction mechanism applicable to any Member State are

Ø triggering if net contributions exceed 0,35% of a Member State's GNI (this threshold would represent the maximum accepted level of financial solidarity between Member States)

Ø refunding of contributions above this at a rate of 66% (the refund rate would be phased in for all Member States except the UK at the rate of 33%, 50%, 50% and 66%)

Ø limitation of the total refund volume to a maximum of EUR 7,5 billion a year, financed by all Member States based on their relative share of GNI.

In order to alleviate the impact of the introduction of the new system, the UK would receive, in addition to the ordinary correction, degressive top-up payments totalling EUR 5 billion over a four-year period ending in 2011.

The cost of the financial corrections entailed by the introduction of the 0,35% triggering threshold is estimated at max. EUR 7,5 billion for the period 2008-2013, comparable with what would be the overall cost of the current rebate mechanism under the future financial perspective.

The outcome of the system would be that the net balances of the largest net contributors would be at comparable levels, as shown below:

Estimated net budgetary balances (average 2008-2013)

 

in % of GNI

 

New correction mechanism

Current mechanism

No correction

United Kingdom

-0.51%

-0.25%

-0.62%

Netherlands

-0.48%

-0.56%

-0.55%

Germany

-0.48%

-0.54%

-0.52%

Sweden

-0.45%

-0.50%

-0.47%

Austria

-0.41%

-0.38%

-0.37%

Italy

-0.35%

-0.41%

-0.29%

France

-0.33%

-0.37%

-0.27%

Cyprus

-0.33%

-0.37%

-0.28%

Denmark

-0.25%

-0.31%

-0.20%

Finland

-0.19%

-0.25%

-0.14%

Spain

0.26%

0.23%

0.32%

Ireland

0.51%

0.47%

0.56%

Malta

1.10%

1.06%

1.16%

Belgium

1.27%

1.21%

1.32%

Slovenia

1.34%

1.31%

1.40%

Portugal

1.54%

1.50%

1.60%

Greece

2.20%

2.16%

2.25%

Hungary

3.09%

3.06%

3.15%

Czech Republic

3.21%

3.17%

3.26%

Slovakia

3.31%

3.27%

3.36%

Estonia

3.79%

3.76%

3.85%

Poland

3.80%

3.76%

3.85%

Lithuania

4.44%

4.41%

4.50%

Latvia

4.45%

4.40%

4.51%

Luxembourg

5.84%

5.80%

5.89%

Genuinely tax-based own resource as from 2014

As shown above, the Commission's new own resources proposal does not foresee the introduction of new sources of funding for the next financial perspectives but rather tries to update the national contribution shares via the generalised correction mechanism. Nevertheless, in its Report on the operation of the own resources system, the Commission argues in favour of introducing as from 2014 a genuine fiscal own resource.(5)

With this new tax based resource the Commission aims at "forging the link between citizens and the EU budget". It would increase understanding by citizens of the resources going to the EU budget and would make decision makers more accountable. The fiscal resource would be introduced progressively as a replacement to the current VAT resource, alongside a more limited GNI resource. Since it would thus replace existing resources it would be neutral in terms of the level of EU funding.

At the current stage of EU integration a fully tax-based system is considered not realistic by the Commission and is therefore not proposed.

The Commission's three options

The Commission's three main candidates as tax based own resource are

Ø a share of the tax rate on energy consumption, limited to motor fuel for road transport ("eco-tax") with consideration also being given to aviation fuel and related emissions as a possible future development to end the current tax exemption for jet fuel;

Ø a share of the national VAT rate, making the financing of the EU more understandable to citizens (EU and national VAT should appear as separate taxes on the invoices or receipts);

Ø a share of the corporate income tax as a longer term option.

By chosing any of these three options the concept of the EU as a Union of Member States and citizens would be transposed into the area of financing the EU budget. Strengthening the direct link of citizens to the budget would also help focussing expenditure debates on substance rather than on purely national budget net positions.

Feasibility of the Commission's options

As to the feasibility of the three options the following remarks can be made:

Option 1: Own resources system with fiscal resources related to energy consumption

The introduction of a fiscal resource based on road transport fuel would be technically possible in around 3 - 6 years. It would be relatively simple from an administrative point of view as the tax base is already harmonised at EU level by the new directive on energy taxation.(6)

EU rates below half of the minimum rates set by the directive would be enough to finance half of the EU budget.

Option 2: Own resources system with a fiscal VAT resource

The introduction of an EU VAT rate would be technically possible in around 6 years. Contrary to the current "statistical" VAT resource, it would create a clear direct link between the financing of the EU budget and the citizen and would increase awareness of the costs of the Union. Potential difficulties with this proposal are related to incomplete harmonisation of Member States' VAT systems mainly linked to zero-rated goods. If the effects of zero-rates could be neutralised, the EU rate would have the same impact on comparable consumers across the Union.

An EU rate of 1% would be enough to cover about half of the financing needs of the EU budget.

Option 3 - Own resources system with a fiscal resource based on corporate income

This alternative would take longest to implement, both from a political as well as from an administrative perspective. It would need a common consolidated tax base with a minimum tax rate instead of 25 separate national tax systems and a multiplicity of tax laws, conventions and practices.

Since revenue from corporate income taxes is significant (with total revenue in the EU currently representing on average 2,6% of total EU GNI), for the needs of the EU budget less than a quarter of that revenue would need to be assigned to the EU.

(1)

OJ L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42

(2)

Article 5(1) restricts the financing share in the cost of the British rebate of Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden to one fourth of their normal share resulting from the calculation method.

(3)

COM(2004)0505.

(4)

COM(2004)0501.

(5)

This reflects in a single article (Art. 9) of the actual own resources proposal which reads: The Commission shall submit to the Council a proposal to modify the own resources structure by introducing a genuinely tax-based own resource to be operational from 1 January 2014.

(6)

Directive 2003/96/EC of 27.10.2003 of the Council restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity (OJ L 283 of 31.10.2003).


DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 4 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE

8 November 2006

Starting point

Background

Parliament’s demands …

In its opinion(1) to the 1999 Commission proposal on which the current own resources system is based, Parliament asked for a system of EU revenue that should be

· simple and readily understood by the public,

· based on criteria that best expressed the ability to contribute while, at the same time, avoiding recourse to compensation mechanisms for purposes of revenue,

· independent of transfers from Member States and

· that should do away with those features of the existing system which generate confusion because of the exemptions applicable to national contributions.

… and Council’s response

The Council decision(2) that was finally adopted on 29 September 2000, entering into force on 1 March 2002, did anything but fulfil these demands: It has codified the UK rebate as well as the adjustments of the financing shares for the rebate of Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden - instead of planning for a phasing-out of the UK rebate a similar mechanism was extended to other Member States. By raising the share of traditional own resources that can be retained by the Member States to compensate for their collection costs from 10% to 25%, the “traditional own resources”-part of EU revenue was further reduced.

However, despite all these arrangements that were not welcomed by Parliament, the Council decision also contained some chances for a "better" future in form of a detailed revision clause.

The “Schreyer proposals” of 2004

In July 2004, in accordance with Article 9 of the Council decision, the Commission presented its Report on the operation of the own resources system(3) as well as proposals for a new decision on the system of own resources and for an implementing regulation for the correction of budgetary imbalances(4).

In its report, the Commission proposed that the Council reflect on the introduction by 2014 of a new funding system for the EU, centred around a main fiscal resource based on either energy, VAT or corporate income tax. This tax based resource would replace existing resources and would therefore be neutral in terms of the level of EU funding.

Three main candidates as a tax based own resource were listed, namely a share of:

· the tax rate on energy consumption, limited to motor fuel for road transport(5)

· the national VAT rate, making the financing of the EU more understandable to citizens(6)

· a corporate income tax(7).

A fully tax-based system was not considered realistic at this stage of EU integration and not proposed by the Commission. The fiscal resource would be introduced progressively as a replacement to the current VAT resource, alongside a more limited GNI resource.

As for the question of the British rebate, the Commission proposed to adjust the existing correction mechanism so as to apply it to all main contributors, while giving assurances to those not benefiting from such a correction that the cost for them would not soar, by limiting the volume of corrections to a maximum amount.(8)

Your rapporteur thought the Commission’s ideas very interesting and worth serious reflection. However, the Member States seemed not willing to pursue them and the new Commission, instituted in 2005, made no serious effort for progress. Of course, this standstill was mainly due to the ongoing negotiations for the new multiannual financial framework and to the fact that EU expenditure and revenue could not be considered isolated from each other.

At the Brussels European Council in December 2005, Member States could finally agree on a new financial perspective for 2007 – 2013, an agreement on expenditure that had only become possible by granting far-reaching concessions for this, that and the other Member State on the revenue side.

The “reform” proposed by the Brussels European Council 2005

In consequence, the Commission proposal of 2006 aiming at implementing the results of the European Council’s conclusions makes the financing of the European Union's budget certainly not more, but less, transparent, so that not even the adherence to the principle of equity can be judged easily. The requirements for a new system as adopted by the European Parliament in its position of 1999 again are certainly not met.

According to this proposal, some Member States were to benefit, between 2007-2013, from reduced rates of call of VAT or from gross reductions in their annual GNI contributions. These gross reductions would be financed by all Member States, including the two beneficiaries themselves.

The proposal, in principle, leaves the UK correction, the "British rebate", intact except for expenditure in the new Member States (which will be excluded from total allocated expenditure for the purpose of calculating the UK correction). However, CAP market expenditure in the new Member States shall be excluded from this exception, i.e. be part of the total allocated expenditure that is used for calculating the UK rebate.

Parliament's opinion - Lamassoure report 2006

Because this latest Commission proposal does anything but meet the criteria set out by Parliament in its 1999 resolution and is running against his own personal conviction on the need for a profound reform towards more simplicity, equity and transparency, your rapporteur in his report adopted on 4 July 2006(9) has limited himself to additions to the text stressing the importance of the review process to come.

His amendments have simply indicated the conditions for the review and Parliament's involvement, as laid down in the new Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management. Special provisions for certain Member States may be unavoidable in the current system. They are, however, anything but desirable and should only be considered a necessary evil until a new, genuinely fair system has been devised in the review process.

In his report your rapporteur also pointed out that the conclusions of the dialogue on the own resources topic that has been led between the national parliaments and the European Parliament for some time now should be duly taken into account for the review. He concluded that he intended to present the results of the work conducted jointly by the national parliaments and the European Parliament in a comprehensive own initiative report on the future of the EU's own resources in the months to come.

(1)

Resolution of 11 March 1999, on the need to modify and reform the European Union’s own resources system (Haug report).

(2)

Council Decision 2000/597.

(3)

(COM(2004)0505).

(4)

Both proposals contained in COM(2004)501final/2

(5)

Consideration was also given to aviation fuel and related emissions as a possible future development to end the current tax exemption for jet fuel.

(6)

There would be no additional tax burden as the EU rate would be offset by an equivalent decrease of the national VAT rate. The EU and national VAT should appear as separate taxes on the invoices or receipts.

(7)

This alternative would take longest to implement since a political agreement would be needed on the principle of achieving harmonization of the tax base, before setting a minimum rate.

(8)

This general correction mechanism would be triggered if net contributions exceeded 0.35% of each country’s GNI. Contributions above this would be refunded at a rate of 66%. The total refund volume would be limited to a maximum of EUR 7.5 billion a year. The introduction of the mechanism should be accompanied by transitional measures for the UK in order to alleviate the financial impact of the changeover, over a 4-year period.

(9)

T6-0292/2006


DOCUMENTUL DE LUCRU NR. 5 PRIVIND RESURSELE PROPRII ALE UNIUNII EUROPENE

13 November 2006

Towards the review

"If we, as parliamentarians, want a say on the finances of the Union, as to both revenue and expenditure, the review process 2008 - 2009, will be our opportunity, but the formulation of that [our] input needs to begin right away."

Lord Grenfell in his summary of Working Group 4 of the

Joint Parliamentary Meeting on the Future of Europe, 8-9 May 2005

The need for reform

The negotiations for the new Financial Framework 2007-2013 have shown that the current system of own resources does not provide the European Union of 25 (27) Member States with a solid and coherent financial basis for implementing its political choices. The Member States' contributions still come out of the national budgets. They are calculated according to a method that has become increasingly obscure, unfair and impossible for the citizens to understand. Besides, the modalities of the current system are decided behind closed doors without any parliamentary control.

Your rapporteur is deeply convinced that EU revenue needs to be thoroughly reformed in a way which prevents Member States from only wanting to spend Community funds in those areas where they themselves profit most instead of concentrating the money available on those policies beneficial to Europe as a whole and most important for its future.

The "full and wide-ranging review of all areas of EU expenditure and revenue, including the British rebate"(1), which the Commission has been invited to undertake by the Brussels European Council of last December, with a view to reporting in 2008 / 2009, may offer a last chance in the foreseeable future, to create such a new and truly European system which could then become operational at the beginning of the next financial framework starting in 2014. For all past efforts to steer the Union towards a more transparent system that is fair by its own virtue have failed so far.

Cooperation with the national parliaments

When studying the proposals made by the Commission in 2004(2), your rapporteur came to the conclusion that any work of the European Parliament on the own resources topic with an aim to finding an equitable, simple and transparent solution would need to be done in close cooperation with the parliaments of the Member States because it was them, that in the end, would need to agree on any proposal made.

This was why the own resources topic was put on the agenda of the June 2005 meeting of the EP Committee on Budgets with the national parliaments' budget committees. The positive reaction of the representatives of the national parliaments to having the own resources item on the agenda and the interesting and open discussions led on this occasion encouraged your rapporteur to proceed in this direction.

In November 2005, a questionnaire drafted by the rapporteur was sent to all budget committees of the national parliaments. The objective of this questionnaire was to begin to explore whether some central basic principles for a reform of the own resources system could be established which could be supported by the European Parliament and a representative majority of the parliaments of the Member States ("old" and "new" ones, "net-payers" and "net-contributors", Southern and Northern ones, etc.).

The reactions to this questionnaire were manifold: Some parliaments, for one reason or another, chose not to reply at all, some parliaments replied in writing and some parliaments invited the rapporteur for a personal exchange of views. So far, the rapporteur has been given the opportunity to speak to the budget committees, or their representatives, of Luxembourg, Portugal, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Hungary.

In analysing the written replies to the questionnaire as well as the results of the bilateral meetings, some general points of possible agreement have slowly begun to emerge. These were further developed by the Working Group on Own Resources of the Interparliamentary meeting of 8 – 9 May 2006, jointly organised by the European Parliament and the Austrian Parliament in Brussels.

Many participants of this meeting considered the idea of supporting a future informal working group of parliamentarians to feed suggestions into the review planned for 2008 / 2009 as a good way to ensure that parliaments were fully involved in the process(3). This positive assessment on establishing a working group was also shared by the participants of the annual meeting between the chairs of the national parliaments' committees on budget and the EP's Committee on Budgets which took place on 21 June 2006 in Brussels and which provided an excellent opportunity for another round of talks.

In your rapporteur's view, the next Joint Parliamentary Meeting of 4 - 5 December 2006 will offer the opportunity to promote the involvement of the European Parliament and the national parliaments in the review process and steer the dialogue into a more structured phase. "The future financing of the Union" will again be the topic of one Working Group. Interesting and productive discussions on the basis of the work already done jointly will certainly follow.

If parliamentary contacts, be they on a multilateral or bilateral level, continue in the spirit of mutual trust and openness they have started in, your rapporteur is convinced that some common understanding on basic principles how the own resources system of the future should look like could be achieved between the European Parliament and the parliaments of the Member States.

Own initiative report on the future of the EU's own resources

Your rapporteur intends to include the results of the work conducted jointly by the national parliaments and the European Parliament in his own initiative report on the future of the EU's own resources, to be debated and voted in plenary in spring of 2007. This report could then provide some common guidelines for the Commission's review work, thus giving a clear signal to the Heads of State and government of what their parliaments' concepts for the future may be.

Basic principles for any new system

With the Schreyer proposals of 2004 as a starting point and the study on own resources commissioned by Parliament in 2005(4) as some further food for thought, your rapporteur, in his numerous discussions with representatives of the national parliaments, would hope for a consensus emerging on the following cornerstones for a reform:

· Full respect of the fiscal sovereignty of the Member States

Under no circumstances shall a new system grant the European Union the right to levy taxes. Fiscal sovereignty will remain with the Member States alone who might authorise the Union for a limited period of time to directly benefit from a certain share of a tax. This decision by the Member States can be revoked at any time.

· Fiscal neutrality

All other things equal, the transfer of a policy to the European level must not increase overall public expenditure nor the tax burden for the citizens. Should a new system directly allocate part of a tax to the European Union, an equivalent reduction will have to take place elsewhere.

· No changes to the order of magnitude of the EU budget

The ceiling of 1,24% of GNI will be taken for granted. Reforming the own resources of the Union shall not result in any increase in the level of magnitude of the budget, which is a different issue.

· Progressive phasing-in of the new system

Transition periods for a gradual introduction of the new system have to be foreseen. If political agreement could be achieved, a first phase of the reform could start from 2009. While keeping the system of national contributions as such, it could be modified to become more simple, transparent and absolutely in proportion with the relative wealth of each Member State.

· Establishment of a clear political link between a reform of revenue and a reform of expenditure

A reform of the structure of EU revenue and a reform of the structure of EU expenditure have to go hand in hand, as foreseen in Declaration 3 of the new Interinstitutional agreement. Changing from a system of Member States’ contributions to a system of genuine own resources directly allocated to the Union will also free EU expenditure from having to comply with any “I want my money back!” requirements.

Further considerations

While it is clear to your rapporteur that the time for a genuine European tax has not yet come,

in the long term, the possibility of returning to a system as originally intended by the Treaty of Rome should be considered. The burden on national treasuries of contributing to EU finances could be reduced by directly attributing to the European Union a fiscal resource, decided upon within a national framework but closely linked to community activities. Such a second phase could be progressively introduced from 2014.

In order to have up-to-date reliable data to explore concrete possibilities for future components of EU revenue, your rapporteur is also looking forward to the results of a study commissioned by the European Parliament in October 2006 which will focus on some taxes that might be candidates for a new Own resources system. To clearly establish the political choices available, the Commission could also be invited to present a detailed account of the advantages and disadvantages of existing national taxes that could be used for this purpose while fully respecting the basic principles as listed above.

In his initiative report on own resources that is scheduled to go to plenary in spring 2007 your rapporteur, on the basis of the work done in the last year, in close cooperation with the national parliaments, expects to be in a position to present some concrete ideas on how a future system of own resources that is fair and easily understandable for our citizens and can do without compensation mechanisms and national exemptions, could look like.

ANNEX

Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline and sound financial management

3. Declaration on the review of the financial framework

1. In accordance with the conclusions of the European Council, the Commission has been invited to undertake a full, wide-ranging review covering all aspects of EU spending, including the Common Agricultural Policy, and of resources, including the United Kingdom rebate, and to report in 2008/2009. That review should be accompanied by an assessment of the functioning of the Interinstitutional Agreement. The European Parliament will be associated with the review at all stages of the procedure on the basis of the following provisions:

- during the examination phase following the presentation of the review by the Commission, it will be ensured that appropriate discussions take place with the European Parliament on the basis of the normal political dialogue between the institutions and that the positions of the European Parliament are duly taken into account;

- in accordance with its conclusions of December 2005, the European Council "can take decisions on all the subjects covered by the review". The European Parliament will be part of any formal follow-up steps, in accordance with the relevant procedures and in full respect of its established rights.

2.     The Commission undertakes, as part of the process of consultation and reflection leading up to the establishment of the review, to draw on the in-depth exchange of views it will conduct with European Parliament when analysing the situation. The Commission also takes note of the European Parliament's intention to call for a conference involving the European Parliament and the national parliaments to review the own-resources system. It will consider the outcome of any such conference as a contribution in the framework of that consultation process. It is understood that the Commission's proposals will be put forward entirely under its own responsibility.

(1)

Revision clause included in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 - see ANNEX.

(2)

"Schreyer proposals", COM(2004)505 and COM(2004)501

(3)

Summary of Working Group 4 as presented to the plenary of the JPM on 9 May 2006

(4)

Study Group for European Policies (SEP), 30 June 2005: Own resources: Evolution of the system in a EU of 25. Study for the European Parliament.


AVIZ al Comisiei pentru control bugetar (20.12.2006)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the future of the European Union´s own resources

(2006/2205(INI))

Draftsman: Bart Staes

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgetary Control calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1. Notes that the revenue system of the European Union has become outdated. National contribution, which were initially intended as supplementary resources ("VAT resources") or special resources ("GNP resources") today account for 90 % of the financing of the Union; at such a level, and taking into account the many technical adjustments made over the years, the system now present unacceptable drawbacks which has also been acknowledged by the Commission and the Council Secretariat;

2. Underlines that this system constitutes a serious weakening in Community sprit. Financing common expenditure through national contribution means driving each country to reason in terms of "just returns". Calls on the Member States and the Commission to remedy, awaiting a new system of own resources. The shortcomings of the actual system of traditional own resources, the own resources based on VAT and GNI as has been noted in the 2005 annual report of the Court of Auditors. Calls on the Commission to present as soon as possible a proposal for FSIM (Financial Intermediation Services Indirectly Measured);

3. Agrees with the European Court of Auditors(1) that thorough reform of the Communities’ system of own resources is very difficult to achieve if the discussion of such a reform is directly combined with negotiations on financial ceilings and amounts to be spent for Community policies under a multiannual financial framework;

4. Therefore welcomes the fact that the revision clause agreed on by the Brussels European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005 clearly makes the preparation and acceptance of an entire reform of the own resources system possible before the end of term of the new financial forecast;

5. Recalls that whatever system is chosen, it should be transparent and cost efficient and include the principle that the data of all beneficiaries of the European funding should be made public. The system should be constructed so that fraud and irregularities are avoided, the principle value for money is upheld and that the European Court of Auditors will have adequate and effective control at all levels;

6. Insists that any reform of this type should be cost neutral in order to be accepted by the public; it should not result in an increase in public expenditure and the burden on the taxpayers; the national audit offices and the European Court of Auditors should be asked to verify that this principle is correctly applied.

7. In keeping with the dual nature of the EU as a Union of citizens and of the States the decision on a new system of own resources must be taken by the European Parliament and the Council together;

8. The democratic responsibility of the European organs to the taxpayer must be improved to strengthen the citizens´ trust in it. EU financing also includes adapting the period of the multiannual financial framework to the legislative period of the European Parliament;

9. As regards the annual budget, the ending of the distinction between compulsory and non-compulsory expenditures already provided for in the Constitutional Treaty should be implemented as soon as possible to guarantee the European Parliament full co-decision in all budgetary categories;

Calls on its competent Committee to organize a conference on the future of the Union’s own resources with the participation of representatives of the Member States National Parliaments.

PROCEDURE

Title

The future of the European Union´s own resources

References

2006/2205(INI)

Committee responsible

BUDG

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

CONT
12.10.2006

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Bart Staes
20.6.2006

Discussed in committee

27.11.2006

20.12.2006

 

 

 

Date adopted

20.12.2006

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

 

 

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Herbert Bösch, Paul van Buitenen, Simon Busuttil, Paulo Casaca, Antonio De Blasio, Petr Duchoň, Szabolcs Fazakas, Christofer Fjellner, Ingeborg Gräßle, Umberto Guidoni, Dan Jørgensen, Ona Juknevičienė, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Jan Mulder, Bart Staes, Margarita Starkevičiūtė, Kyösti Virrankoski, Marilisa Xenogiannakopoulou

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Daniel Caspary, Valdis Dombrovskis, Paul Rübig

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

(1)

See paragraph 18 of Opinion No 2/2006 (OJ C 203, 25.8.2006, p. 50).


AVIZ al ComisiEI pentru afaceri economice şi monetare (1.2.2007)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the future of the European Union's own resources

(2006/2205(INI))

Draftswoman: Elisa Ferreira

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Restates the need to revise the current own resources system in order to make it more transparent, fair, simple, understandable to European citizens, and compatible with the principle of European solidarity;

2.   Emphasises the importance of Parliament's involvement in the "in-depth exchange of views" on the reform of the European Union's own resources system, as laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006;

3.   Recognises that the difficult discussion about the Financial Perspectives 2007-2013 as well as the complexity of the final agreement illustrate the limits of the present system and confirm the appropriateness and timeliness of the present initiative;

4.   Welcomes the working method followed by the rapporteur and, in particular, the close involvement of the national parliaments at the different stages of the procedure, allowing convergence;

5.   Considers own resources to be central to the revision of the financial perspective; intends, therefore, to begin preparations for this key event without further delay, using a method to secure the involvement of all the committees concerned, following the successful precedent of the initial negotiations;

6.   Looks forward to the outcome of the technical studies commissioned by Parliament in October 2006 as a basis for the political choice on alternative budget financing mechanisms, which should, however, neither increase the fiscal burden on European citizens nor allow the continuation of individual Member States' compensation schemes; believes that the macroeconomic impact of the different mechanisms under consideration will need to be assessed;

7.   Stresses that the principle of Member States' sovereignty in fiscal matters must be combined with the need for a robust common budget capable of supporting those policies that are more efficiently developed at EU level, such as strengthening internal solidarity and external competitiveness;

8.   Suggests that there should be more clarity and transparency for European citizens as regards the EU’s own resources, to serve as a necessary discipline on the Commission and the budgetary authority regarding their decisions relating to expenditure;

9.   Points to the need for the new system to be based on the progressivity principle and hence reflect, when necessary, the income levels of the individual Member States in order to determine to what extent they will be able to contribute to the EU budget;

10. Further emphasises the implications that increased membership may entail for the European Union’s capacity to integrate, primarily as regards its cohesion policies; suggests, therefore, that any revision of the current own resources system must ensure the sustainability of past and further enlargements;

11. Maintains that the potential of existing taxation formulas should be fully explored before new ones are considered in order to avoid introducing new formulas that may entail increased tax pressure;

12. Emphasises that, as stated in the new Interinstitutional Agreement, the spirit of global reform should encompass both the revenue and expenditure sides of the budget, including a more thoroughgoing revision of certain expenditure headings, such as that relating to the common agricultural policy, thus ensuring that the European Union has a budget, on the revenue and the expenditure side, which contributes to the success of the Lisbon strategy;

13. Supports the phasing-in of any eventual new financing mechanisms, such as the introduction of genuine own resources of the European Union, in the form, for example, of value added tax, excise duty on motor fuel for road transport, excise duty on tobacco or alcohol, environmental tax or a percentage of corporation tax calculated according to a common consolidated tax base over an extended transition period.

PROCEDURE

Title

The future of the European Union's own resources

Procedure number

2006/2205(INI)

Committee responsible

BUDG

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

ECON
16.11.2006

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Elisa Ferreira
24.10.2006

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

19.12.2006

23.1.2007

 

 

 

Date adopted

30.1.2007

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Zsolt László Becsey, David Casa, Konstantin Dimitrov, Pervenche Berès, Sharon Bowles, Udo Bullmann, Ieke van den Burg, Elisa Ferreira, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Donata Gottardi, Sophia in 't Veld, Othmar Karas, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Evgeni Kirilov, Wolf Klinz, Christoph Konrad, Kurt Joachim Lauk, Andrea Losco, Astrid Lulling, Gay Mitchell, Cristobal Montoro Romero, Joseph Muscat, John Purvis, Alexander Radwan, Bernhard Rapkay, Eoin Ryan, Antolín Sánchez Presedo, Manuel António dos Santos, Olle Schmidt, Margarita Starkevičiūtė, Ivo Strejček, Sahra Wagenknecht, Lars Wohlin

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Harald Ettl, Vladimír Maňka, Thomas Mann, Giovanni Pittella

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Dariusz Maciej Grabowski, Holger Krahmer, Kurt Lechner, Heide Rühle

Comments (available in one language only)

...


AVIZ al ComisiEI pentru dezvoltare regională (27.2.2007)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the future of the European Union's own resources

(2006/2205(INI))

Draftsman: Gerardo Galeote

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Welcomes the decision of the European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005 calling on the Commission to undertake a full, wide-ranging review of all aspects of EU spending and resources and to report in 2008/2009; also welcomes the declaration on the review of the financial framework annexed to the Interinstitutional Agreement between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1); regrets that the European Council agreed on even more rebates for certain net contributing countries, making the own resources system still more complicated and giving further weight to the short-sighted concept of ‘juste retour’;

2.   Recalls that the principle of financial autonomy, as enunciated in Article 269 of the EC Treaty and implemented by Council Decision 70/243/ECSC, EEC, Euratom of 21 April 1970 on the replacement of financial contributions from Member States by the Communities' own resources(2), was based on the will to ensure that the Community disposed of sufficient resources to remain independent of national considerations and to ensure respect for the principle of solidarity upon which the Union's regional policy is founded;

3.   Recognises that the principles of fiscal sovereignty, subsidiarity, fiscal neutrality and accountability must be respected;

4.   Calls on the Commission, in the context of its 2008 review, to seriously consider the need to ensure a direct, simpleand transparent link between the Union's resources and the citizens of the Union by introducing a less complex and more democratic resource system for the Union and to provide better information both at European and national levels taking into account regional concerns as regards the origin of the Union’s financing;

5.   Proposes that, in ensuring such a link, due consideration should be given to paying part of an identified tax to the Union's budget, while taking proper account of the Treaty requirements regarding the outermost regions (Article 299(2) of the EC Treaty );

6.   Recognises that, for the foreseeable future, bearing in mind the Union’s future powers and responsibilities, national contributions will remain an important source of revenue for the Union ; encourages the Commission, however, to propose a revenue raising system which will significantly reduce the relative importance of such national contributions while maintaining a minimum level of contributions based on the relative prosperity of each Member State;

7.   Emphasises the need to ensure that any new system reflects the relative prosperity of each Member State and its ability to pay;

8    Calls on European leaders not to limit the discussions to the matter of expenditure, but to highlight the benefits derived from it and the returns on investment, especially for the longest standing Member States;

9.   Demands that the 'principle of Fontainebleau' be respected in so far as the territorial cohesion of the EU is not thereby undermined and that rebates which are manifestly no longer justified be consequently abolished;

10. Hopes that regional concerns will be taken into account in the debate on the reform of the own resources system held by the national parliaments and the European Parliament, which should also consult the Committee of the Regions.

PROCEDURE

Title

The future of the European Union's own resources

Procedure number

2007/2205(INI)

Committee responsible

BUDG

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

REGI
7.9.2006

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Gerardo Galeote
24.11.2004

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

19.12.2006

1.2.2007

 

 

 

Date adopted

27.2.2007

Result of final vote

+: 36

–: 5

0: 1

 

Members present for the final vote

Stavros Arnaoutakis, Elspeth Attwooll, Tiberiu Bărbuleţiu, Jean Marie Beaupuy, Antonio De Blasio, Gerardo Galeote, Eugenijus Gentvilas, Ambroise Guellec, Pedro Guerreiro, Zita Gurmai, Marian Harkin, Jim Higgins, Filiz Husmenova, Alain Hutchinson, Mieczysław Edmund Janowski, Gisela Kallenbach, Tunne Kelam, Evgeni Kirilov, Constanze Angela Krehl, Jamila Madeira, Mario Mantovani, Sérgio Marques, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Jan Olbrycht, Maria Petre, Markus Pieper, Bernard Poignant, Elisabeth Schroedter, Stefan Sofianski, Catherine Stihler, Margie Sudre, Oldřich Vlasák

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Brigitte Douay, Den Dover, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Ljudmila Novak, Francisca Pleguezuelos Aguilar

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Simon Busuttil, Wolf Klinz, Thomas Wise

Comments (available in one language only)

 

(1)

OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.

(2)

OJ L 94, 28.4.1970, p. 19.


AVIZ al Comisiei pentru afaceri constituţionale (23.1.2007)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the future of the European Union's own resources

(2006/2205(INI))

Draftsman: Carlos Carnero González

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Notes that the Union's current system of own resources is neither transparent and comprehensible for citizens nor meets the objectives laid down in the Treaties, in particular as regards guaranteeing the Union's financial autonomy;

2.  Considers that the system of own resources needs to be adapted to the European Union's institutional reforms to strengthen both citizens' rights and the role they play in the Union;

3.  Points out that, instead of providing the EU with sufficient own resources to implement its policies, the current system makes Community financing more and more incomprehensible for the public and leads to downward negotiations among Member States both net contributors and beneficiaries on the basis of the so-called 'fair return', which completely disregards the many different advantages which all the Community partners obtain from their membership of the Union and any logic of cohesion;

4.  Supports, therefore, the in-depth review of the Union's financing system (both expenditure and revenue) that the Commission has undertaken to carry out in 2008/2009, in line with the agreements reached at the European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005 and in accordance with the declaration on the review of the financial framework annexed to the Interinstitutional Agreement, between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management of 17 May 2006;

5.  Considers a new EU own resources system to be necessary which

- is made up of genuine Community own resources and not of national contributions to the European budget;

- serves genuinely to improve cohesion within the European Union;

- guarantees the Union sufficient means to finance its policies adequately, especially in view of future enlargements, and to match more directly its spending with its political priorities;

- is transparent and comprehensible;

- is subject to fully democratic decision-making procedures and scrutiny;

- is equitable;

- links the citizen directly with the Union;

6.  To this end, considers it appropriate gradually to introduce a genuine Union own resource of a fiscal nature which would free the Union from its dependence on transfers from the Member States, would establish a direct link between the public and Community finances, would be effective and equitable, and would not represent any increase in the overall fiscal burden on taxpayers;

7.  As regards decision-making mechanisms in relation to own resources,

- reaffirms, as a first step, its agreement with the system envisaged in the European Constitution, i.e. basic provisions contained in a European law of the Council after consulting Parliament and approved by all the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional rules, on the one hand, and implementing measures laid down by law of the Council adopted by a qualified majority after being approved by Parliament, on the other hand;

- points out, however, that such provisions form an inseparable part of the overall agreement on the Union's finances enshrined in the Constitution and based on the following elements:

•    the final word on own resources remains with the Member States,

•    the current financial framework is included in the Treaty by virtue of a law on the multiannual financial framework which requires the agreement of the Council and Parliament,

•    the distinction between compulsory and non-compulsory expenditure in the annual budget is abolished,

•    Parliament is granted decision-making power over the whole of the annual budget;

8.  Stresses that the further deepening of European political integration will necessarily entail simplifying the decision-making procedure for own resources in order to make it more effective, and granting Parliament the power to approve those resources, together with the national parliaments of the Member States, so that it is an altogether Community procedure;

9.  Takes the view that the success of that review requires, at the same time as a reform of the own resources system, a recasting of the Union's expenditure objectives in order to strengthen all its policies, with account being taken of the way in which the process of European integration evolves and based on a joint reflection by Parliament, the Commission, the Council and national parliaments;

10. Considers that the mid-term review of the financial framework provides an opportunity to recast the objectives of Community policies; wishes, therefore, to see the relevant preparations begun without further delay, with the involvement of all committees responsible in this area, as was the case for the initial negotiations;

11. Welcomes, therefore, the methodology followed by the rapporteur with regard to the dialogue with national parliaments, as well as the fruitful debates on the future of Europe held in parliamentary fora to date.

PROCEDURE

Title

The future of the European Union's own resources

Procedure number

2006/2205(INI)

Committee responsible

BUDG

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

AFCO
7.9.2006

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Carlos Carnero González
23.11.2006

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

23.11.2006

22.1.2007

 

 

 

Date adopted

23.1.2007

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

2

1

Members present for the final vote

James Hugh Allister, Carlos Carnero González, Richard Corbett, Jean-Luc Dehaene, Panayiotis Demetriou, Andrew Duff, Ingo Friedrich, Bronisław Geremek, Genowefa Grabowska, Jo Leinen, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Marie-Line Reynaud, Adrian Severin, Alexander Stubb, Riccardo Ventre

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ashley Mote, Gérard Onesta, Jacek Protasiewicz

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Comments (available in one language only)

 


PROCEDURĂ

Titlu

Viitorul resurselor proprii ale Uniunii Europene

Numărul procedurii

2006/2205(INI)

Comisia competentă în fond
  Data anunţării în plen a autorizării

BUDG
7.9.2006

Comisia (comisiile) sesizată(e) pentru avizare
  Data anunţului în plen

CONT
12.10.2006

ECON
7.9.2006

REGI

7.9.2006

AFCO

7.9.2006

 

Avize care nu au fost emise
  Data deciziei


 

 

 

 

Cooperare consolidată
  Data anunţului în plen


 

 

 

 

Raportor(i)
  Data numirii

Alain Lamassoure
20.9.2004

 

Raportor(i) substituit (substituiţi)

 

 

Examinare în comisie

28.11.2006

5.12.2006

24.1.2007

26.2.2007

12.3.2007

Data adoptării

12.3.2007

Rezultatul votului final

+

-

0

28

5

1

Membri titulari prezenţi la votul final

Richard James Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Herbert Bösch, Simon Busuttil, Joan Calabuig Rull, Gérard Deprez, Brigitte Douay, James Elles, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Neena Gill, Ingeborg Gräßle, Nathalie Griesbeck, Louis Grech, Catherine Guy-Quint, Jutta Haug, Ville Itälä, Ralf Walter, Anne E. Jensen, Wiesław Stefan Kuc, Zbigniew Krzysztof Kuźmiuk, Alain Lamassoure, Janusz Lewandowski, Vladimír Maňka, Mario Mauro, Francesco Musotto, Gianni Pittella, Nina Škottová, László Surján, Helga Trüpel, Kyösti Virrankoski

Membri supleanţi prezenţi la votul final

Thijs Berman, Richard Corbett, Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop, Michael Gahler, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Paul Rübig, José Albino Silva Peneda, Margarita Starkevičiūtė, Peter Šťastný

Membri supleanţi [articolul 178 alineatul (2)] prezenţi la votul final

 

Data depunerii

13.3.2007

Observaţii
(date disponibile într-o singură limbă)

 

Ultima actualizare: 27 martie 2007Notă juridică