How can the EU budget be made more efficient and effective?

CEPS Research Fellow Jorge Nuñez Ferrer explored this question at a high-level workshop at the European University Institute in Florence, 1-2 October, together with other experts from academia and the policy world. There was wide agreement among the participants, which included Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva and Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, that the EU budget is not fit for the challenges it faces. It is a static instrument in a dynamic and fast-changing world. The logic of the EU budget in terms of net balances is no longer relevant even for financial flows linked to the budget. Nor is the way in which the budget is designed effective when the EU is called upon to act in times of crisis.  There is a need to find a new agreement on how the budget is financed and used and to change the accounting mentality that is so deeply entrenched in EU budgetary negotiations.