29

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Public opinion and the EU budget - Who supports the EU budget?

05-10-2018

The budget of the European Union (EU budget) provides the EU with the means to finance its policies and to respond to challenges which occur. Due to its scope, the perception of the EU budget is linked to citizens’ perception of the EU as a whole, its legitimacy and reputation, as well as the performance of the EU institutions. This briefing analyses public opinion surveys related to the EU budget, in particular citizens' preferences for greater EU financial means and their evaluation of the EU budget ...

The budget of the European Union (EU budget) provides the EU with the means to finance its policies and to respond to challenges which occur. Due to its scope, the perception of the EU budget is linked to citizens’ perception of the EU as a whole, its legitimacy and reputation, as well as the performance of the EU institutions. This briefing analyses public opinion surveys related to the EU budget, in particular citizens' preferences for greater EU financial means and their evaluation of the EU budget as 'good' or 'poor' value for money. It sets the analysis of public opinion in the context of debate on reforming the EU budget and on setting the next multiannual financial framework. According to recent Eurobarometer data, 37 % of Europeans support the EU having greater financial means given its political objectives, and 31 % think that the EU budget gives good value for money for EU citizens. Although the demand for greater support and the positive opinion of the EU budget both have positive trends over time, there is still much to be addressed. A closer look at the data demonstrates significant differences between the opinions across the Member States. Although a more sceptical trend can be observed amongst net contributor Member States, the diversity in the data cannot be explained only by the positioning of a country on the net contributor-net beneficiary continuum. The opinions of citizens across Member States vary in their values as well as in their direction of change over time. In addition, the opinions on the EU budget can be linked to personal factors - younger Europeans tend to express stronger support for greater EU financial means than older ones.

The 2018 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament

07-09-2018

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 12 September 2018 is to be the last one during the current mandate. It comes in the context of the ongoing reflection on the future path of the European Union, especially in view of the European elections next May. The debate will therefore be an occasion to reflect on the legacy and achievements of this Commission, to present the priorities until the end of the ...

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 12 September 2018 is to be the last one during the current mandate. It comes in the context of the ongoing reflection on the future path of the European Union, especially in view of the European elections next May. The debate will therefore be an occasion to reflect on the legacy and achievements of this Commission, to present the priorities until the end of the mandate and to follow up on the ongoing debate on the future path of the European Union of 27. President Juncker’s speech is expected to be accompanied by a set of concrete initiatives and proposals with the aim to deliver positive results for citizens by the time of the Sibiu summit in May 2019. This year’s speech comes as the campaigns for the European elections start to take shape, but also in the period of intensive debate on the Commission’s proposals for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which set out the Commission’s vision of the EU financing of policies during that period. The State of the Union debate now forms part of the process for the adoption of the annual Commission Work Programme and thus plays an important role in identifying major political priorities to be agreed in interinstitutional dialogue. This briefing is an update of an earlier one, of September 2017, by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

Guarantee Fund for External Action and EIB external lending mandate

16-05-2018

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals ...

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals. A compromise package was agreed in trilogue between Council and Parliament, and adopted at first reading during the February I 2018 plenary session. Both acts entered into force on 8 April 2018. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027: Commission Proposal - Initial comparison with the current MFF

04-05-2018

On 2 May, the Commission presented its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2021-2027 period (2021-2027 MFF), outlining the structure of the EU budget and the policy priorities of the EU for a period of seven years, together with proposals on own resources financing the EU budget and a proposal to link the EU budget and the rule of law. A series of further legislative proposals presenting the individual spending programmes is expected later in May and June. The Commission proposes ...

On 2 May, the Commission presented its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2021-2027 period (2021-2027 MFF), outlining the structure of the EU budget and the policy priorities of the EU for a period of seven years, together with proposals on own resources financing the EU budget and a proposal to link the EU budget and the rule of law. A series of further legislative proposals presenting the individual spending programmes is expected later in May and June. The Commission proposes that the 2021-2027 MFF (commitment appropriations) amounts to €1 135 billion in 2018 prices or 1.11 % of EU GNI. The previous MFF, converted into 2018 prices and including the European Development Fund (EDF) for comparative purposes, amounted to €1 138 billion or 1.03 % of EU GNI. Note, however, that this comparison does not take account of the various changes in programmes proposed or the impact of Brexit. The number of headings grows from the 2014-2020 MFF to 2021-2027 MFF, from five to seven, and some programmes change place from one heading to another. Regarding the structure of the 2021-2027 MFF, the Commission proposals have the ambition to align the budget closer to the political priorities, to simplify the structure of the EU budget (i.e. a reduced number of programmes), and to increase the flexibility within and between programmes.

Media pluralism and media freedom in the EU

25-04-2018

Media freedom and pluralism are among the rights and principles enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as part of the Copenhagen criteria for membership of the EU, related to democracy and human rights. Despite that, there are currently concerns regarding threats to media freedom and pluralism in the EU. The own-initiative report on Media Pluralism and Media Freedom in the EU, due to be voted in plenary in May, aims at contributing ...

Media freedom and pluralism are among the rights and principles enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as part of the Copenhagen criteria for membership of the EU, related to democracy and human rights. Despite that, there are currently concerns regarding threats to media freedom and pluralism in the EU. The own-initiative report on Media Pluralism and Media Freedom in the EU, due to be voted in plenary in May, aims at contributing towards free and pluralistic media systems across the EU that play a key role in any democratic society.

Guarantee Fund for External Action and the EIB's external lending mandate

31-01-2018

In September 2016, the European Commission proposed amendments to the regulation on the Guarantee Fund for External Actions (GFEA) and the decision granting an EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) against losses under financing operations supporting investment projects outside the EU (external lending mandate, ELM). The agreement on the proposals, reached after eight months of trilogue negotiations, needs a confirmation vote during the February I plenary.

In September 2016, the European Commission proposed amendments to the regulation on the Guarantee Fund for External Actions (GFEA) and the decision granting an EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) against losses under financing operations supporting investment projects outside the EU (external lending mandate, ELM). The agreement on the proposals, reached after eight months of trilogue negotiations, needs a confirmation vote during the February I plenary.

Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace

10-03-2017

The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace was established in 2014 to support the European Union’s external policies. It contributes funding for crisis response, conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis preparedness, and to address global and trans regional threats. The instrument thus plays a role in both EU foreign and development policy.

The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace was established in 2014 to support the European Union’s external policies. It contributes funding for crisis response, conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis preparedness, and to address global and trans regional threats. The instrument thus plays a role in both EU foreign and development policy.

EU Aid Volunteers initiative

30-11-2016

Following a pilot phase in 2011-2014, the EU Aid Volunteers initiative was officially established in 2014. Its aims are to increase the EU’s humanitarian aid capacity, encourage and facilitate volunteering amongst young Europeans, facilitate collaboration in this area and help train and prepare volunteers. While still modest in scale, the initiative is expected to contribute to the EU’s response to the increased need for well-trained aid volunteers.

Following a pilot phase in 2011-2014, the EU Aid Volunteers initiative was officially established in 2014. Its aims are to increase the EU’s humanitarian aid capacity, encourage and facilitate volunteering amongst young Europeans, facilitate collaboration in this area and help train and prepare volunteers. While still modest in scale, the initiative is expected to contribute to the EU’s response to the increased need for well-trained aid volunteers.

Public expectations and EU policies - Economic policy

30-06-2016

The EU’s economic policy is mainly geared towards coordinating national economic policies, with much attention given to macroeconomic imbalances, as well as managing the fiscal safeguards provided by the Stability and Growth Pact. However, compliance by Member States with the existing framework is weak. At the same time monetary policy is an exclusive EU competence for the euro area.

The EU’s economic policy is mainly geared towards coordinating national economic policies, with much attention given to macroeconomic imbalances, as well as managing the fiscal safeguards provided by the Stability and Growth Pact. However, compliance by Member States with the existing framework is weak. At the same time monetary policy is an exclusive EU competence for the euro area.

Public expectations and EU policies - Foreign policy

30-06-2016

Citizens who think EU engagement in foreign policy is sufficient are almost as numerous as those wishing the EU does more in this area – and nearly one fifth confess they are not able to evaluate EU action. This can be explained as the remit of EU foreign policy is not easy to identify, since it brings together missions for which the EU has full responsibility and competences shared with EU Member States, or even the UN or WTO. However, since its inception, EU foreign policy has adapted to an ever-changing ...

Citizens who think EU engagement in foreign policy is sufficient are almost as numerous as those wishing the EU does more in this area – and nearly one fifth confess they are not able to evaluate EU action. This can be explained as the remit of EU foreign policy is not easy to identify, since it brings together missions for which the EU has full responsibility and competences shared with EU Member States, or even the UN or WTO. However, since its inception, EU foreign policy has adapted to an ever-changing global context: most international issues have multiple impacts – on climate, migration flows or security – and need to be comprehensively addressed. Building on the Treaties’ provisions, the EU and its Member States are moving from ‘silo’ policies (trade, development, humanitarian aid) towards more integrated strategies.

Upcoming events

17-10-2018
Public debate on the future of development with Bill Gates
Hearing -
DEVE
18-10-2018
Policy Dialogue with EUI: EP Elections - Challenges and Opportunities
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AFCO
18-10-2018
Gender-specific Measures in Anti-trafficking Actions
Hearing -
LIBE FEMM

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