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Still reeling from recent French and Dutch rejections of the EU constitution, Europe faces the prospect of financial gridlock if it fails to reach a budget deal at a June 16-17 summit in Brussels.
Any delay in securing a deal would put urgently needed public investment in the poorer new member states at risk. The EU budget is 106.3 billion euros ($130 billion) this year.
Originally posted by Chris McGee
Actually, sminkey, the budget being discussed is for the period 2007-2013.
Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
I think it is a synthetic row designed to take the spotlight away from the "no" votes in the 'constitution' referenda and most especially the French "no" vote (which is how come Chriac is so vocal on this at the moment).
Quick, name the world's largest socialist economy. No, it is not China; it is the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, the notorious CAP.
Today, 44 percent of the EU's budget is spent on the CAP, costing European tax payers about €48 billion, for a sector that employs less than 5 percent of the population of the member states. The EU spends seven times more on the CAP than it does on research and development.
Recently, thanks to the EU's failed budget process, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair has brought reform of the CAP to the top of the bloc's agenda. He wants to dramatically alter the system, and re-negotiate it before the year 2013. This was vigorously opposed by Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU's agriculture commissioner, in a recent speech.
But the Commission as a whole favors reform, considering the possibility of using its upcoming CAP review process to reduce subsidy payments to individual farmers. Instead, the Commission proposes increasing payments for regional rural development, and introducing a limit of €300,000 for CAP payments. If approved, money will flow east to the poorest part of Europe. CAP reform seems inevitable, even if will be slow in coming. Nonetheless, the proposals are being fought and stalled by France, which receives some €10 billion in CAP subsidies every year.