Policy brief

The long-term EU budget: size or flexibility?

The EU is in the process of negotiating its 2014-20 financial framework. Failure to reach an agreement would imply a delay in the preparation of the s

Publishing date
23 November 2012

• The overwhelming attention paid to the size of the budget is misplaced. EU leaders should instead aim to make the EU budget more flexible, safeguard it from future political power struggles, and reinforce assessment of the impact of EU funded growth policies.
• To improve flexibility a commitment device should be created that places the EU budget above continuous political disagreement. We suggest the creation of a European Growth Fund, on the basis of which the European Commission should be allowed to borrow on capital markets to anticipate pre-allocated EU expenditure, such as Structural and Cohesion Funds. Markets would thus be a factor in EU budget policymaking, with a potentially disciplining effect. Attaching conditionality to this type of disbursement appears legitimate, as capital delivered in this way is a form of assistance.

About the authors

  • Benedicta Marzinotto

    Benedicta Marzinotto was a Resident Fellow at Bruegel from 2010 to 2013. She is now with the European Commission as a Policy Analyst – Economist, Labour market reforms, at DG ECFIN.

    She is also a Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Udine and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin Campus).

    Her research for Bruegel focused on EU macroeconomic developments, EU Institutions, finance and growth. More precisely, she was working on the macroeconomics of the recent crisis, the competitiveness debate (macro and micro-approach), the role of the EU budget in the crisis and the impact of financial regulation on economic growth.

    From 2004 to 2009, Benedicta was a Research Fellow in the International Economics Programme at Chatham House. She also has experience as a freelance political economic analyst. She has held visiting positions at the Free University of Berlin and at the University of Auckland.

    Benedicta holds a MSc and PhD in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics. Her research interests include: EU macroeconomics, EU economic governance, varieties of capitalism, and labour markets institutions.

    She is fluent in Italian, English and German.

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