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EU Gender budgeting: where do we stand?

28-10-2020

Gender budgeting has a fundamental impact on inclusive and economic growth, fostering employment, reducing poverty, addressing ageing population and increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the study of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the estimated impact of improved gender equality varies considerably across member states from 4% to 12% of GDP, depending on the present level of achievement of gender equality.

Gender budgeting has a fundamental impact on inclusive and economic growth, fostering employment, reducing poverty, addressing ageing population and increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the study of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the estimated impact of improved gender equality varies considerably across member states from 4% to 12% of GDP, depending on the present level of achievement of gender equality.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - September 2020

11-09-2020

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions in the EU Budget 2014-2019

15-07-2020

This study performs a “reality check” of Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions (PPPAs) included in the EU budget over 2014-2019 and assesses their use as a strategic political tool. It covers 324 PPPAs with an aggregate value of EUR 337 million to date. PPPAs can trigger new or fine-tune existing legislation or policy and generate important lessons learnt. However, there is no systematic data to assess their effectiveness. The study identifies a series of areas for improvement.

This study performs a “reality check” of Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions (PPPAs) included in the EU budget over 2014-2019 and assesses their use as a strategic political tool. It covers 324 PPPAs with an aggregate value of EUR 337 million to date. PPPAs can trigger new or fine-tune existing legislation or policy and generate important lessons learnt. However, there is no systematic data to assess their effectiveness. The study identifies a series of areas for improvement.

Външен автор

Blomeyer & Sanz Roderick ACKERMANN, Roland BLOMEYER, José PAPI, Margarita SANZ

COVID-19: List of the measures taken in relation to the ITRE remit May-June 2020

13-07-2020

This briefing summarises the recent measures taken by the European Commission on matters within the remit of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy in response to the urgent and ongoing COVID-19 crisis, while referencing relevant parts of the resolution of the European Parliament of 15 May 2020 on the new multiannual financial framework, own resources and the recovery plan.

This briefing summarises the recent measures taken by the European Commission on matters within the remit of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy in response to the urgent and ongoing COVID-19 crisis, while referencing relevant parts of the resolution of the European Parliament of 15 May 2020 on the new multiannual financial framework, own resources and the recovery plan.

Assigned revenue in the Recovery Plan - The frog that wishes to be as big as the ox?

15-06-2020

Exception to the budgetary principle of universality, assigned revenues flatten at 10.5 % in last years. The emergency European Recovery Instrument put forward by the Commission amounts to EUR 750 billion. Out of this EUR 750 billion, EUR 500 billion are external assigned revenue. Therefore, more than a third of the EU budget will be considered as assigned revenue in the EU budget. On assigned revenue, the European Parliament is excluded from the decision-making process. Given the size of the amount ...

Exception to the budgetary principle of universality, assigned revenues flatten at 10.5 % in last years. The emergency European Recovery Instrument put forward by the Commission amounts to EUR 750 billion. Out of this EUR 750 billion, EUR 500 billion are external assigned revenue. Therefore, more than a third of the EU budget will be considered as assigned revenue in the EU budget. On assigned revenue, the European Parliament is excluded from the decision-making process. Given the size of the amount in question, the budgetary treatment of external assigned revenue should be reassessed.

The EU's 2020 budget: Response to the coronavirus pandemic

16-04-2020

Acting within the limits of its powers, the European Union (EU) responded immediately at the start of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak to help repatriate people, coordinate measures to limit the spread of the virus, distribute medical equipment and promote the necessary research. The European Commission has put forward a range of measures, adjusted some of its policies and mobilised EU funds to assist EU citizens and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Financial support is ...

Acting within the limits of its powers, the European Union (EU) responded immediately at the start of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak to help repatriate people, coordinate measures to limit the spread of the virus, distribute medical equipment and promote the necessary research. The European Commission has put forward a range of measures, adjusted some of its policies and mobilised EU funds to assist EU citizens and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Financial support is also proposed for third countries. At the time of writing, a package of €40.4 billion to support healthcare systems and lessen the economic impact of the pandemic in Member States and third counties is proposed under the EU budget. This includes funds redirected within programmes and additional budgetary support. An initial aid package of €232 million was followed by a proposal to mobilise a further €128.6 million for civil protection in the EU and abroad. The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative has opened up €8 billion in liquidity for Member States, supplemented by €29 billion in EU structural funding, to be redirected to healthcare investments to fight the coronavirus, and to provide support for the labour market and business, particularly SMEs, in all affected sectors. The emergency support instrument and the Union's civil protection mechanism will provide further €3 billion in order to meet the needs of European health systems in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, making extensive use of the flexibilities embedded in the EU budget. A further contribution from the EU budget will be included in the EU's global response for partner countries, which will provide financial support of more than €15.6 billion to help them deal with the impact of the coronavirus. From the start of the crisis, the European Parliament has been calling for bold and ambitious financial aid and for an ambitious future budget to make the EU stronger. Now is the time to mobilise funds and think ahead how best to shape a strong long-term budget for the EU.

Spending at EU level saves at national level … and more

20-03-2020

The European Union (EU) budget is often portrayed as a cost for net contributors to the EU, and it is revealing how redistribution to other Member States is presented as having little value for contributing states. Conversely, while critical of a number of areas of expenditure, the academic literature generally considers the EU budget to be far too small to contribute effectively to the demands made upon it. Studies of the optimum distribution of competences and finance, following the theories of ...

The European Union (EU) budget is often portrayed as a cost for net contributors to the EU, and it is revealing how redistribution to other Member States is presented as having little value for contributing states. Conversely, while critical of a number of areas of expenditure, the academic literature generally considers the EU budget to be far too small to contribute effectively to the demands made upon it. Studies of the optimum distribution of competences and finance, following the theories of fiscal federalism, call for a considerable expansion of the EU budget and competences. There is no doubt that there are many ways to improve and expand the EU budget based on comparisons with federal states. However, as the EU is not a federal state, it does not have the capacity to rearrange its competences in this way (the EU Treaty is hard to amend), and any proposal for change would have to remain within the EU's Treaty limitations. The EU's supranational nature, bringing sovereign nations together voluntarily in a complex single market that requires some pooling of competences, makes it a unique budgetary entity. Reality therefore complicates explanations of the EU budget, the value it adds and the consequent savings for Member States.

Външен автор

This paper was drafted as a contribution to the EPRS expert seminar on 'EU Budget 2021-27: Challenges and opportunities', held on 28 January 2020. Its author is Jorge Núñez Ferrer, associate senior research fellow, CEPS.

A new package for finance and expenditure in the EU budget

20-03-2020

Every time a new multiannual financial framework (MFF) is negotiated, there is a call for the EU to invest in new policies that provide added-value. What would this mean? Firstly, that EU investment is cost effective and that it is cheaper to run a single EU expenditure policy even in a policy such as agriculture than as 27 or 28 different national expenditure polices. Secondly, that there are cross-border benefits, efficiently linking areas of opportunity between the Member States. Erasmus+, Horizon ...

Every time a new multiannual financial framework (MFF) is negotiated, there is a call for the EU to invest in new policies that provide added-value. What would this mean? Firstly, that EU investment is cost effective and that it is cheaper to run a single EU expenditure policy even in a policy such as agriculture than as 27 or 28 different national expenditure polices. Secondly, that there are cross-border benefits, efficiently linking areas of opportunity between the Member States. Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, or the Connecting Europe Framework are examples of this. Thirdly, it is the ability to afford expensive investment in the collective good that any one Member State alone would not be able to afford. Examples include Galileo and the nuclear fusion ITER programme. These three types of added-value are the basis for the case of reform of the budget. They always face challenges from the Member States concerned either to maximise their economic benefit, or to minimise the cost for their Treasuries. Others simply call for a lower budget, even if most of them recognise the collective benefits of added-value. Moreover, some Member States in the face of expenditure reductions, move to salvage their benefits in agricultural or cohesion expenditure. The predictable results in negotiating the MFFs in 2006 and 2013 were somewhat smaller budgets. These contained less of an increase in added-value expenditure than originally proposed, and smaller reductions than anticipated for agricultural and cohesion expenditure, against a backdrop of net balance or juste retour calculations by Member States. The question is how to break this logjam. In 2013, the Parliament accepted a package deal of expenditure reductions in exchange for significantly more flexibility in the budget, a full scale review of the MFF in 2016-17 and the establishment of a High Level Group on Own Resources to investigate new sources of finance for the budget (Benedetto 2019). The flexibility and the mid-term review may have allowed for a larger real terms budget to have taken effect despite the reduction in commitments and payments in the official figures. In turn, the paper will focus on the European Commission’s proposal of 2018 for the new MFF, the challenge of net balances, funds and instruments outside the EU budget, and possible packages for reform.

Външен автор

This paper was drafted as a contribution to the EPRS expert seminar on 'EU Budget 2021-27: Challenges and opportunities', held on 28 January 2020. Its author is Giacomo Benedetto, Jean Monnet chair in European Union politics, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Benefits outweigh costs of flexibility in EU multiannual financial framework

20-03-2020

Budget flexibility can be defined as the capacity to reorient resources quickly to meet changed circumstances, unexpected events or new policy priorities. There are three different ways of introducing flexibility in the budgetary process: by relaxing constraints on annual budgets and enhancing the capacity of legislative bodies to set annual spending priorities (legislative flexibility), by giving more discretion to executive units on how to execute their allocations (executive flexibility), and ...

Budget flexibility can be defined as the capacity to reorient resources quickly to meet changed circumstances, unexpected events or new policy priorities. There are three different ways of introducing flexibility in the budgetary process: by relaxing constraints on annual budgets and enhancing the capacity of legislative bodies to set annual spending priorities (legislative flexibility), by giving more discretion to executive units on how to execute their allocations (executive flexibility), and by setting up specific mechanisms to deal with large, unforeseen expenditure needs (e.g. contingency reserves for natural disasters and crises). A comparison of flexibility practices at the national and EU level reveals that the EU budget suffers from both limited legislative flexibility (little discretion given to the Council and the Parliament to set annual spending priorities) and executive flexibility (limited capacity conferred on the European Commission to adjust allocations according to needs and circumstances). Debates on EU budget flexibility tend to focus on the first problem and underestimate the second. Any attempt to enhance EU legislative budget flexibility requires reconsideration of the structural aspects of the multiannual financial framework (MFF). To date, focus has been on changing the rules related to the use of budgetary margins, but there are other ways to give EU budgetary authorities more capacity to set annual spending priorities, such as shortening the duration of the MFF, reconsidering the length of spending programmes, allowing for some adjustment of annual ceiling on payments or institutionalising a MFF mid-term review. Enhancing executive budget flexibility demands changes to the design of EU spending programmes, particularly the establishment of less detailed allocation rules and the creation of in-programme flexibility tools (such as performance or programme reserves). Finally, any discussion about enhancing EU budget flexibility must take into account the possible implications or 'costs' in terms of budgetary control and budgetary stability.

Външен автор

This paper was drafted as a contribution to the EPRS expert seminar on 'EU Budget 2021-27: Challenges and opportunities', held on 28 January 2020. Its author is Eulalia Rubio, Institut Jacques Delors.