Consequences of enlargement for European Regional Policy: the spanish viewpoint
The aim of this study is to assess possible reforms for the future financial framework of the Community Budget for the period 2007-2013, attaching special importance to their impacts on the Spanish economy. We analyze the fiscal balances of each of the Fifteen with the Union budget and reveal the existence of problems of horizontal equity in the contributions of the Fifteen to the Community budget. We also show that, as opposed to what is usually affirmed, Spain is not the country that has most benefited from the Structural Measures policy. After simulating the costs that would be entailed in enlargement, including the “statistical effect”, we defend the advisability of introducing corrective mechanism that may enable the regions of the present members that would continue to be beneficiaries of aid to Objective 1 regions, if there were no enlargement, to go on receiving it. Furthermore, our study upholds a more ambitious proposal: to undertake a reduction in the Community budget funds allocated to direct CAP aid in order to release funds both for the regional policy and for other Community policies.
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