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EU long-term budget: How should we spend it?


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The EU’s long-term budget helps millions of students, thousands of researchers, cities, businesses and regions.

But how should we spend it and where should the money come from? Shall we continue to support European farmers and regions and/or should we invest more in the fight against climate change and a digital Europe? Shall we have a European plastic tax?

Have your say, step in the role of politicians and negotiate a budget for the next years!

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has selected some of its resources to provide young people like you with background information and insights linked to the topic above.

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The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has selected some of its resources to provide young people like you with background information and insights linked to the topic above.


20 May 2020
I would propose cutting down on Common Agricultural Policy, as 1. any economist can tell you subsidies are harmful to the economy, 2. because they are incredibly inefficient in increasing rural sustainability, 3. they are unbelievably harmful to other markets, especially those of poor countries, whose farmers cannot compete with subsidized agricultural European exports, 4. subsidies are shown to have a detrimental effect on corruption, mafia and rent seeking activities, and lastly 5. they harm the EU's international trade negotiation position. I feel that CAP spending is a way to justify the EU, while actually having a negative effect on the entire EU.

Apart from the CAP, I would also propose cutting cohesion policy spending significantly or removing it altogether. The last crisis has shown that cohesion policy has not had the desired effect on enhancing regions' resilience to economic crisis, (e.g. look at Sevilla). Cohesion policy is nothing more than the redistribution of wealth across the EU, promoting anti-EU sentiment on the side of net-contributing countries and increasing corruption and other forms of mismanagement on the receiving side.

I would personally describe myself as very pro-European, especially when it comes to a powerful democratic EP, a (real) common foreign policy, one defense policy and regarding the internal market. It is because of policies like the CAP and cohesion policy however, that I feel more sympathy for Eurosceptic populists each day. I would rather be in no union, than a protectionist transfer union without common foreign policy.

Again, I am very pro-European, I could even be for more unity, but not like this.
My sincere thanks in advance for reading and considering my idea!

Giulia Gentile
06 May 2020
-Environmental protection (including reforms in the transport): introduction of binding policies related to the circular economy, introduction of stricter rules on green gas emissions, introduction of regulations on the emissions of airway companies, incentivising means for travelling with low-environmental impact

-Digital evolution and online rights: balancing the right to be forgotten with freedom of expression, fighting fake news with more research and NGOs working against the spreading of fake news, ensuring the protection of privacy rights in the data society

-Research: funding for universities and research centres covering the future of the EU (with a focus on cooperation mechanisms for the EU institutions and the member States in enhancing European policies), research also on the mechanisms of financial cooperation in the EMU and the future of the EMU, research on migration policies and how Member States could tackle this issue successfully

-Migration policies: strengthening the existing mechanisms or reforms to ensure better migration policies

-Consumer protection: creating awareness concerning consumer rights and how to protect them. These rights include also personal data protection

-Institutional reforms: transparency in the spending of EU funding and mechanisms of control from the EU level over the national level in the execution of Treaties' objectives. For instance, the introduction of mechanisms for the EU institutions to control the respect of VAT payments and tax evasion. The EU should be empowered to improve correct institutional practices in the Member States.

-Reform of judicial review in the EU: better access to EU courts for EU citizens to directly interact with the EU judicature and strengthen democratic values

-Rule of law crisis: sanctions for Hungary and Poland
12 March 2020
You should implement a EU wide plastic tax to gather a new source of income for the long term budget. But this money should ONLY be spend for projects which fight climate change, deforestation, pollution of the oceans or for the development of renevable energy infrastructures. If it is like that I would be more than happy to pay this tax.
But don't even start spending the money on defens or similar subjects.
The other acceptable way to spend the money is for EU youth projects such as Interrail for example.
Florian Bauer
03 March 2020
Budget resources:
I think that the EU should generally receive a larger budget to be able to deal with its future challenges. One per cent of GDP is definetely not enough. Currently, there is a lot of discussion about net-payers and net-beneficiaries of the budget, which is misleading because a lot of the benefits of the EU are not measurable or don't enter these calculations and it creates divisions between member states. It would be beneficial to escape this harmful framing by giving the EU the opportunity to have more own resources such as funds from the Emissions Trading System, from a plastic tax or a common consolidated corporate tax base.
Budget spending:
The Common Agricultural Policy is still a large chunk of the budget and it desperately needs to be reformed. Farmers should only receive money if they provide real public benefit by acting sustainable and safeguarding animal rights and the environment and climate.
Generally, the spending on climate issues needs to be increased. To fulfill its global responsibility, the EU should also at least double its funding for development assistance to poor countries, while focusing the spending on the most cost-effective projects.