Delegation of the European Union to Japan

An EU budget fit for tomorrow: Commission opens debate on future of EU finances

Brussels, 29/06/2017 - 03:05, UNIQUE ID: 170629_15
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EU News 141/2017

As Europe decides on its future, the EU needs a budget that is fit for purpose and makes every euro work for its citizens.

Published today, the Commission's reflection paper on the future of EU finances looks at the options to make that a reality. The issues raised in this fifth and final paper in the series are central to the debate started on 1 March with the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe. The reflection paper maps out possible budgetary implications of the choices we can make.


The EU budget faces a tough challenge to fund more with less. The EU is expected to play a bigger role in new policy areas like migration, internal and external security or defence. And Europe should also preserve its leading role on the global stage, as a major humanitarian and development aid donor and as a leader of the fight against climate change. That must be achieved with an EU budget that will only get smaller following the departure of the United Kingdom.

Today's reflection paper looks at this challenge and puts the key elements for discussion on the table, structured around the five scenarios of the White Paper: will the EU simply carry on, do less together, move ahead at different levels of intensity, do less but more efficiently or do much more together? Each of these illustrative scenarios would have different consequences - both in terms of how much to spend for what purpose, and on where the money could come from. Options range from reducing spending for existing policies to increasing revenues.

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