In 2006 European decision-makers decided to undertake a ‘full, wide ranging review covering all aspects of EU spending, including the CAP, and of resources, including the UK rebate, to report in 2008/9’. In September 2007 the Commission launched a public consultation to prepare for the review, in which all interested parties are invited to contribute.

This paper sets out QCEA’s response to the consultation. It was submitted to the European Commission.

Briefing Papers

Click the title of each briefing paper to download it.

1. Introduction and Process (pdf – 65kB)

This sets out a little bit of the background of the review and the process and timetable – please read this first – it’s really short – because it will assist you in contributing to the discussion at the right time.

2. The EU budget structure (pdf – 212kB)

This explains the current structure of the budget covering income, expenditure and correction mechanisms. It is a little technical in nature but it is important to see how things are done now, how they have developed and the issues the current situation raises if considered from the perspective of fairness, effectiveness and efficiency. The paper includes a number of diagrams which are intended to make it easier to understand the concepts.

3. Key issues (pdf – 143kB)

This briefing paper looks at why there are problems with the current system, what the problems are, highlights some of the proposals from different quarters for addressing these problems and the obstacles in doing so. This paper, at least in part, is intended to stimulate debate. Not all the ideas reflected in it are ideas which QCEA would necessarily support – we have tried to be clear in terms of what we would support. We are keen for your feedback on the issues raised as this hopefully will assist us in formulating our contribution to the consultation.

4. Questions Raised in the Consultation (pdf – 120kB)

This paper starts with the questions raised by the European Commission in the consultation which need to guide – at least to some extent – our responses. The questions raised are what the Commission is seeking answers to. If we don’t think the questions cover the necessary ground, or if we think that the way they are formulated is less than helpful then we need to make that clear in our responses – but we can’t afford to ignore them if we want to be heard.

5. CAP Health Check (pdf – 78kB)

The ‘health check’ or mini-review of the Common Agricultural Policy ( CAP) is not part of the budget review but the two impact on each other; this paper therefore attempts to set out very briefly the key issues that are being looked at in the CAP Health Check which is going on in parallel with the budget review. This is intended to be background information.

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[…] QCEA has written about the way the EU budget is formulated in seven year Multiannual Financial Frameworks elsewhere. Just to recap: although the EU has annual budgets, they are set within these Multiannual Financial Frameworks which are not developed on a rolling basis but rather renegotiated every seven years. Generally the process takes 18 months or so, although on the last occasion this happened, it took nearly two years. And on that occasion, the only way in which the negotiations could be concluded was to agree a thorough review both of the EU budget and separately and specifically, the Common Agricultural Policy. […]

[…] In preparation QCEA also drafted five briefing papers dealing with questions such as: Where does the money come from? Who pays and who gains? What is the money spent on? Who makes the key decisions? These can be found here. […]