30 JUN 2011
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Future EU spending is set to increase, focusing marginally less on agriculture and more on research, education and transport, according to European Commission proposals for the next seven-year budgetary period (2014-2020).
The draft budget also includes controversial proposals for EU 'own resources', including a tax on financial transactions and an EU-wide value-added tax (VAT).
Presenting the document in Brussels late on Wednesday evening after an all-day negotiation with colleagues, European Commission President Jose President Jose Manuel Barroso hit out at early objections from member states.
"This is an extremely serious, credible proposal, and to say 'no' to something which was only adopted two or three hours ago is not serious or credible," he told reporters.
Shortly beforehand, a spokesman for the British government blasted the budget proposals as "unrealistic" after Britain, France and Germany last December called for a nominal freeze in future EU spending to match national austerity measures. Denmark and Sweden were also quick to criticise the plans.
Under the commission blueprint, EU spending would rise to €971.52 billion over the seven-year period, with €1,025 billion pledged in commitments. This compares with €925.5 billion and €975.77 billion under the current period (2007-2013), although there is little change in terms of gross national income (GNI).
Read entire article