Financing the EU Budget: What Does the Academic World Tell Us?

15-04-2015

The European Parliament’s position advocating a reform of the current revenue system and more genuine own resources to finance the EU budget appears to be strongly backed by academic research. There is a broad consensus that the current system to feed the EU budget is no longer viable. National contributions currently account for more or less 85% of the budget. The net payer debate is seen as misleading and polluting discussions on the EU budget. The accounting calculations on which it is based are arbitrary and do not reflect the real net benefits and costs of the EU budget. Academic research provides numerous analyses of the best options to reform the current system of own resources and to bring back the GNI resource to its initial balancing role. As Andreis and Marè (2014) stated in their conclusions, the EU budget is a key condition for the evolution of European integration, and also part of the debate on the legitimacy of the Union’s action. Indeed, debating the EU budget is actually discussing competing visions of Europe’s future. Therefore, an agreement on the future of the EU is a pre-condition for resolving the issue of financing the EU budget.

The European Parliament’s position advocating a reform of the current revenue system and more genuine own resources to finance the EU budget appears to be strongly backed by academic research. There is a broad consensus that the current system to feed the EU budget is no longer viable. National contributions currently account for more or less 85% of the budget. The net payer debate is seen as misleading and polluting discussions on the EU budget. The accounting calculations on which it is based are arbitrary and do not reflect the real net benefits and costs of the EU budget. Academic research provides numerous analyses of the best options to reform the current system of own resources and to bring back the GNI resource to its initial balancing role. As Andreis and Marè (2014) stated in their conclusions, the EU budget is a key condition for the evolution of European integration, and also part of the debate on the legitimacy of the Union’s action. Indeed, debating the EU budget is actually discussing competing visions of Europe’s future. Therefore, an agreement on the future of the EU is a pre-condition for resolving the issue of financing the EU budget.