Are EU Budget Plans on the Right Track? New Lords Inquiry

10 November 2011

The House of Lords EU Select Committee have today launched a follow-up inquiry into the EU Financial Framework from 2014. The inquiry will build on the Committee's report from earlier in the year, The EU Financial Framework from 2014, and will look into the expenditure and mechanisms set out in the European Commission's detailed spending package proposals

EU Financial Framework Follow-Up Inquiry - Call for Evidence

Following the Commission’s Communication The EU Budget Review and subsequent negotiations, the Commission has begun publishing detailed proposals for spending packages. Debate on these packages will continue through 2012, and once agreed, the Commission’s proposals will form the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) from 2014 to 2020. They therefore have critical policy implications for the EU’s activities over the later part of this decade.

The Committee intend to scrutinise the Commission’s proposals and the Government’s position on them, considering issues such as: the allocation of funds within policy areas; the overall size and shape of the budget; and the impact proposed changes might have on the UK economy and the UK public.

Commenting, Lord Roper, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“This short inquiry is an important opportunity for Parliament to contribute to the setting of the EU financial framework, which will have important consequences for the UK over the next ten years.

“The Committee’s previous inquiry into The EU Budget Review led to a report published in April of this year, in which we made a number of recommendations regarding the principles that should underlie the new financial framework. This follow-up inquiry will allow the Committee to scrutinise the Commission’s detailed proposals for expenditure and the raising of the necessary revenue.

“The Committee would welcome evidence from bodies with a view on these proposals and will be inviting key witnesses to give evidence to us in person in the coming months.”

The Committee invite evidence on the following aspects of the Commission’s budget proposals:

• The proposed expenditure ceilings and how these should be compared with the current framework;
• The distribution of funds between and within the five main expenditure headings;
• The proposals for simplification of programmes and funding structures;
• The new ‘own resources’ proposals; and
• The effect on the UK of the proposed restructuring of abatement mechanisms.

The closing date for written evidence is 15 December 2011. The Call for Evidence (see above) gives further details

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