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Own resources of the European Union: Reforming the EU's financing system

09-11-2018

The EU budget is financed by the system of own resources and cannot run a deficit. The current system provides sufficient revenue to cover EU expenditure, but has often been criticised as opaque and unfair. The European Parliament, which has little say in the design of the system, has long pushed for its reform, with a view to shifting the focus of budgetary negotiations from geographically pre-allocated expenditure to the policies with the highest European added value. The European Commission is ...

The EU budget is financed by the system of own resources and cannot run a deficit. The current system provides sufficient revenue to cover EU expenditure, but has often been criticised as opaque and unfair. The European Parliament, which has little say in the design of the system, has long pushed for its reform, with a view to shifting the focus of budgetary negotiations from geographically pre-allocated expenditure to the policies with the highest European added value. The European Commission is proposing to modify the financing of the EU budget as of 2021, when the next multiannual financial framework should start. Proposed changes include: the simplification of existing own resources; the introduction of three new own resources linked to EU policies on climate, environment and the single market; the reduction of the share of revenue provided by the GNI-based resource, which is perceived as national contributions; the abolition of the UK rebate (following that country’s withdrawal from the EU); and the phasing-out of corrections currently granted to other five Member States. A special legislative procedure applies to the principal decision, requiring unanimity in the Council. This is considered a major obstacle to reform of the system, which has remained substantially unchanged for 30 years. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

14-02-2018

The free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever concluded between the EU and a developing country. Not only will it eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, it will also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country. According to European Commission figures, the FTA could boost Vietnam's booming economy by as much as 15 % of GDP, with Vietnamese exports to Europe growing ...

The free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever concluded between the EU and a developing country. Not only will it eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, it will also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country. According to European Commission figures, the FTA could boost Vietnam's booming economy by as much as 15 % of GDP, with Vietnamese exports to Europe growing by over one third. For the EU, the agreement is an important stepping stone to a wider EU-south-east Asia trade deal. Despite the obvious economic benefits of the FTA for Vietnam, some of its more vulnerable manufacturing sectors may suffer from competition with the EU. NGOs have also criticised the EU for pursuing closer ties with a politically repressive regime known for its human rights abuses, although the deal includes some safeguards against negative outcomes. Although the content of the FTA was already agreed in 2015, ratification has been delayed by a 2017 opinion of the European Court of Justice. The Court argued that some aspects of the EU-Singapore FTA, which is similar to the Vietnam FTA, are 'mixed competences', meaning that the FTA as it stands will have to be ratified not only by the EU but also by the 28 Member States. The Commission and Council are now considering whether to modify the agreement so that parts of it can be ratified more speedily by the EU alone. Second edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

Administrative Performance Differences between Member States Recovering Traditional Own Resources of the European Union

15-02-2013

The European Commission oversees the recovery by Member States of Traditional Own Resources (TOR), that is customs debt and sugar levies, for the European Union’s budget revenue. It fulfils high standards of control each year. According to the Commission 98 per cent of customs debt identified by Member States is entered in national accounts and transferred as TOR to the EU accounts without particular problems. Yet significant differences of performance exist between Member States. The report examines ...

The European Commission oversees the recovery by Member States of Traditional Own Resources (TOR), that is customs debt and sugar levies, for the European Union’s budget revenue. It fulfils high standards of control each year. According to the Commission 98 per cent of customs debt identified by Member States is entered in national accounts and transferred as TOR to the EU accounts without particular problems. Yet significant differences of performance exist between Member States. The report examines these differences, using published and accessible data to estimate the effects of such differences for the EU budget. It makes recommendations on how to improve even further the collection of this revenue and better safeguard all Member States share in TOR recovery.

Externí autor

James SPENCE (Institut d’Etudes politiques - Sciences Po, Paris, France), and Hans DAVIDS (EurBalance, The Netherlands)

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