What European liberals have done over the past five years – EU budget and defence

Having taken a day off, I’m back with more ALDE achievements…

Reform of the European Union’s system of own resources

ALDE has sought to increase the transparency of the current financing system of the EU budget, in order to reduce national contributions by EU Member States, by introducing new own resources income streams and ending rebates and corrections, without increasing tax burden on the citizens.

Following the Parliament’s position and the recommendations of the High Level Group on Own Resources, the Commission proposed a basket of new own resources, structured around European public goods linked to EU’s strategic policy objectives. This basket thus includes new resources based on the EU Emission Trading System and on plastic waste, reinforcing the climate action priority, and a simplified VAT based resource as well as new corporate tax-based resource, consolidating the Single Market and reducing financial speculation.

A greener, modernised and more flexible EU budget

ALDE were successful in focusing the 2019 EU budget on resources for research, innovation, competitiveness and SMEs. ALDE initiated the Parliament’s call for doubling the budget of Erasmus+ to enhance opportunities for young people, which was an instrumental step in obtaining a substantial partial increase in the 2019 budget. ALDE also pushed for substantial allocation to climate spending to meet the EU’s long-term climate goals of 20% climate spending target in the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020. Specifically, ALDE increased the ambition for EU-funded cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy within the MFF Connecting Europe Facility. Our Group made a distinctive contribution especially in the areas of internal security and investment in managing borders, fighting terrorism, radicalisation and organised crime and called on Member States to take responsibility for the management of migration in accordance with the principle of burden-sharing and the Geneva Conventions. On the initiative of our shadow rapporteur, the relevant Parliament’s budgetary reports call on the Commission to present a proposal, which would provide for the expression of financial solidarity at EU level to victims of acts of terrorism and their families.

ALDE have been at the forefront in demanding scrutiny of the EU budget and has strongly advocated and continues to advocate for a reformed, genuine European Added Value budget that is strongly linked with a performance-based budgetary approach. The ALDE stance that transparency and performance-based budgeting must underpin the next MFF was endorsed by the Parliament in its interim report on the MFF 2021-2027. ALDE has been calling for five years MFF (to align the EU budget with the legislative cycles). The Commission agreed to propose this after 2027.

Reforming and Enhancing Europe’s defence capability

NATO: Within the scope of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the ALDE Group developed an intensive and ongoing cooperation between the many Liberal parties represented in this body. The tangible results achieved helped to grasp the positions of the different Member States towards the new EU-NATO cooperation dimension.

Cyber Defence has become an indivisible part of European defence affairs. ALDE have led the mandate’s European Parliament resolution on cyber defence, addressing capability development, cyber defence within the realm of CSDP missions and operations, civil-military cooperation and EU-NATO cooperation. Within the drafting process of this European Parliament resolution, the ALDE Group organized a high-level conference on the topic involving multiple stakeholders such as the EU Institutions, EU Member States and NATO.

The European Parliament resolution on the European Defence Union was one of the political milestones achieved during the 2014-2019 EP legislature. The ALDE Group drew the main outline of this resolution, with the objective to enable and ensure the early steps of a European Defence Union. By the publication “A Roadmap towards EU Integrated Military Forces” and via the organisation of a number of conferences and seminars on European Defence, hosted by ALDE MEPs, the ALDE Group wants to contribute to a rich and comprehensive discussion.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.
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2 Comments

  • Peter Martin 16th May '19 - 11:00am

    “ALDE has sought to increase the transparency of the current financing system of the EU budget, in order to reduce national contributions by EU Member States, by introducing new own resources income streams and ending rebates and corrections, without increasing tax burden on the citizens.” ???

    I’m just wondering what this really means.

    The consensus of opinion of nearly all economists is that the EU, having introduced a common currency, actually needs much bigger budgets which will in turn require larger contributions by National Governments. Transparency is fine, but ultimately there will be a need for more ‘rebates’ and ‘corrections’ rather than fewer. Money will need to be ‘raised’ where it can be raised, ie largely in the more prosperous areas of the EU, and spend where it needs to be spent, ie largely in the less prosperous regions.

    The amounts of money will have to be significant. 10% of EU GDP, which is on the low end of the scale of what is thought to be generally needed, is about €1.5 trillion euros.

    That’s €1,500 billion euros !

  • Laurence Cox 16th May '19 - 1:16pm

    @Peter Martin
    “Money will need to be ‘raised’ where it can be raised, ie largely in the more prosperous areas of the EU, and spend where it needs to be spent, ie largely in the less prosperous regions.”

    Quite right too! Does anyone think it is wrong that taxes collected from people living in and companies registered in London subsidise the rest of the UK to the tune of £34 billion a year (2015 figures)?

    I suspect that when ALDE refer to raising funds without increasing the burden on citizens, they are thinking about going after the tax havens like Luxembourg and Ireland that allow multi-nationals to route all their EU income through them at very low tax rates. The citizens are still paying the same, but the money is going straight offshore. I have seen figures that US companies held up to $2.5 trillion offshore in 2017, and much of that must have come from Europe.

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