This report has the objective of being ground-breaking, moving away from well-trodden and fruitless arguments in favour of new own resources. It also places the EU budget in a modern context. It takes the concerns of net contributors seriously into account, as there is no political position that is not grounded on something more serious than a mere wish of governments to have the money sent returning back. Some of the solutions proposed are novel and none of them uncontroversial, but they aim at addressing some of the fundamental dysfunctions of the budget resources system by tackling the sources of the problem, and not merely the symptoms.
This study is divided into five parts:
- Part I outlines the present status, what has changed over the last years and the need for a budget to enable the EU to face its present difficulties.
- Part II looks at the challenges and opportunities for reforming the budget from a political and legal perspective.
- Part III goes into detail about the potential elements of a reform, from an assessment of new resources to reforms connected with expenditure-side improvements.
- Part IV presents a set of possible package deals and discusses their merit.
- Part V discusses further wider issues concerning the role of the EU budget in relation with the Eurozone and additional considerations, such as the duration of the MFF.