30 JUN 2011
The European Commission yesterday (29 June) presented long-awaited proposals for the EU's next seven-year budget (2014-2020). In a bid to reduce national contributions, the Commission suggested levying new taxes directly, a proposal that was strongly rejected by the UK, which labelled it "unrealistic".
José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, proposed to increase the EU budget from the current €976 billion to €1.025 billion for the next seven-year period, which starts in 2014.
This represents a 4.8% increase, which is beyond the average 2% inflation recorded in the last decade.
In a bid to woo member states that are opposed to further rises in the EU budget, the Commission proposed to reduce national contributions, in line with austerity measures adopted across Europe.
In the previous period (2007-2013), each country committed 1.12% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to the EU budget, a contribution that the Commission is proposing to bring down to 1.05%.
"We are proposing an ambitious and at the same time responsible budget," Barroso underlined.
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