09 Feb 2012

Investing where it matters

An EU Budget for Long-Term Growth

Jorge Núñez Ferrer

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What share of the EU’s collective GDP should the EU budget represent? 1%? 1.05%? 0.95%? A Task Force set up by CEPS to explore this question finds that the EU member states, once again, are locked in a pointless battle. Their report argues that the amount is not decisive when it comes to EU spending, but that quality matters far more than quantity. And it is on the quality side that the most significant improvements can be made.

This report warns that obsession with net balances is bound to lead to bad decisions and exhorts Europe’s decision-makers to unleash the potential of the EU budget to make a significant contribution to long-term growth. To achieve this end, the report calls for enhanced investment in innovation, infrastructure that reinforces the single market and key European public goods, such as the management of environmental resources.

The Chairman of the Task Force is Daniel Tarschys, Professor Emeritus in Political Science and Public Administration, Stockholm University and Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. Jorge Núñez Ferrer, CEPS Associate Research Fellow served as Rapporteur.