Heated debate at the European Parliament Budget Committee hearing

The EU is finding it difficult to cover the expenses created by the ever-increasing demands of the EU budget, while its basic structure is based on pre-allocation and rigidity. Many now question the budget’s ability to handle the years up to 2020 efficiently.

Jorge Núñez Ferrer was invited to be one of the key speakers at a hearing organised by the Budget Committee of the European Parliament, together with two other budget specialists. His presentation highlighted the absurdities of the instruments to finance the budget and the lack of any serious rationale in the allocation of expenditure, particularly the Common Agricultural Policy. The methodologies used as the basis for raising the EU budget’s funds and the policies followed for allocating them are largely not in line with established objectives and needs. The popular image projected by the EU budget is one of misallocation and an inability to act in areas of crucial importance for citizens, which has a detrimental impact due to the strong symbolism of the EU budget.

The other two speakers addressed other aspects of the EU budget, but reached similar conclusions. The event created a heated debate in the room, demonstrating the awareness and the readiness of MEPs to address those issues. All the institutions of the EU and the member states understand the need for a decisive reform, but there is clearly a long road ahead before a shared definition is reached on ‘how’ and ‘what’ to reform.