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10.11.2009 Studies
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EU Budget Review: Options for Change

Copenhagen Economics, 2009


  • Recommendations for future EU spending made by independent experts through a workshop based on a background study evaluating all areas of the EU budget


  • ‘There is a need for a fundamental reform of the present structure of the EU budget.’ and ‘The proposed restructuring can take place within the framework of a spending level that is just below 1 per cent of GDP in 2020 – the same level as in 2013’
  • EU agricultural subsidies should be scaled down; EU subsidies for rural development, direct income support and market intervention should be phased out; EU control of national farm subsidies should be strengthened
  • ‘The use of structural funds targeted at particular countries or regions in EU should in future be available only to low-income countries within the EU.’
  • More EU funds should be dedicated to basic research and technology development (especially on climate and energy technologies), infrastructure (especially interconnections between EU countries and corridors in rail services), development aid and internal and external security


  • Refreshing clean-slate approach instead of the usual tinkering at the margins: how would the budget look like if we were really serious about promoting European welfare?
  • Provides good references to current literature on each spending area