Thursday, April 24, 2008

Civil society's contribution to EU budget review

Source: Concord Flash 50, March 2008

The European Commission’s budget review is a hot topic in 2008. Like all the other sectors, NGOs are interested in this review which will set the future amounts and headings in the budget for the long term, to help the European Union cope with the effects of globalisation. After the conference on the EU budget for the future it organised in December 2007, the Civil Society Contact Group, which CONCORD belongs to, submitted its contribution to the consultation on the EU budget review. This sets out a list of fundamental principles that the budget of the European Union needs to follow:
  • EU money is public money and it must serve European public interest
  • EU funds must respect the principle of solidarity
  • Sustainable development must be the overarching goal of a new EU budget
  • Public budgeting and spending must be transparent, accountable processes
  • The process of public budgeting needs to allow for meaningful participation by public-interest organisations
  • EU funds must be allocated in a way that reflects European policy priorities and that supports coherence within and between policies
  • There must be an immediate end to all perverse subsidies
  • EU spending should be subject to regular evaluation
The Civil Society Contact Group has also written to Commissioner Grybauskait√© underlining the importance of a transparent, balanced process after the consultation and asking for NGOs to be involved in the planned conference (the Commission intends to hold a conference on the results of the consultation). This was scheduled for 27 May but is likely to be postponed until the second half of 2008. The next Commission document concerning the consultation is due early in 2009. Let’s keep an eye on this...

For more information contact Regula Heggli

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