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The EU Budget Dispute - A Blessing in Disguise?

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  • Ondrej Schneider

Abstract

This paper analyses the European budget and the net position of the ten new member states. We argue that the EU budget should be reconsidered, as the Union has expanded to 25 member states and has become more heterogeneous. We demonstrate how the ten new members fared with respect to the budgetary plans outlined in the budget proposal approved at the 2002 summit at Copenhagen. We show that, in 2004, the new member states failed to qualify for the whole planned budget within the agricultural policy and the structural funds. On the other hand, they qualified for more than planned from a set of internal policy programmes and also from compensation transfers. We discuss the financial outlook for 2007–2013 and its recent developments. We argue that for the EU budget to support economic growth, the priorities must be re-oriented towards potentially productive spending programmes, and spending on oldfashioned programmes, such as the Common Agricultural Policy, should be scaled down or possibly re-nationalised. We show, however, that it is exactly these programmes that remained unchanged in the final negotiations for the 2007–2013 perspective. A simple economic growth model illustrates that the current EU budget setting is, at best, neutral with respect to the EUwide long-term growth potential and may actually hamper growth in the majority of the EU countries if the distortionary nature of taxation is taken into account.

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Paper provided by Czech National Bank, Research Department in its series Research and Policy Notes with number 2006/01.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cnb:rpnrpn:2006/01

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Keywords: Budget; European Union; growth.;

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  1. Ondřej Schneider & Jan Zápal, 2005. "Fiscal Policy in New EU Member States: Go East, Prudent Man!," Working Papers IES 76, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised 2005.
  2. Martin Hallet, 2004. "Fiscal effects of accession in the new Member States," European Economy - Economic Papers 203, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. Gleich, Holger, 2003. "Budget institutions and fiscal performance in Central and Eastern European countries," Working Paper Series 0215, European Central Bank.
  4. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sandy Dall’erba & Julie Le Gallo, 2007. "The Impact of EU Regional Support on Growth and Employment," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 57(7-8), pages 324-340, September.
  6. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
  7. Sjef Ederveen & Henri L.F. de Groot & Richard Nahuis, 2002. "Fertile Soil for Structural Funds?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-096/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Asea, Patrick, 1997. "On the ineffectiveness of tax policy in altering long-run growth: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 99-126, October.
  9. Urlik Butzow Mogensen & Patrick Lenain & Vicente Royuela-Mora, 2004. "The Lisbon Strategy at Midterm: Expectations and Reality," CASE Network Reports 0058, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
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