The EU has an opportunity to wrong foot its detractors with its next seven-year budget, which is starting to be negotiated. The signs, however, are not good. The European Commission and Parliament have proposed increases for 2012, of 4.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively. The debate needs to change – it is not anti-European to say we should do more with less.
Generally, the Commission is a liberalising force in the EU.
Instead of suggesting an increase, it should look at the dire economic situation across Europe and think hard how to do more with less. We have published a costed alternative that shows it is possible to cut the budget by 10 per cent (saving the EU over €100bn and Britain over €10bn) while spending more on European growth and development.
Phillip Souta, Director, Business for New Europe