60 Ideas for Europe

As far as the budget is concerned, we need to focus primarily not on expenditure but on those aspects of fiscal policy of the Member States which fall under the remit of the EU.

The first priority is to eliminate the idea of unanimity- that is to say, the right to veto- in decisions pertaining to this fiscal policy. It must in no way be the case that one single country is in a position to veto such an important principle, for example, as the harmonization of indirect taxation in the Member States.

We need to substitute decision by unanimity for the normal procedure: double majority in the Council and co-decision in the EP.

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  1. The Budget is very important to understanding what any organisation is really about. As a famous man once said – you need to “follow the money”. However, Europe has grown up. The Parliament and Commission is much more politically mature than it was, say, 20 years ago. Europe is capable of making its own decisions and giving it control of its expenditure is a sensible move. Certainly, we should abandon the veto for this.

    But what about issues of income? Europe gets all its income from national states – it doesn’t have any taxes of its own. It makes sense for issues like total spending, rebates and so on to be kept at unanimity.

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