In the previous post we presented 5 recent studies by the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies. In this posting we will have a closer look at document 2008:02 The EU Budget Review: Mapping the Positions of Member States.
The study basically consists of two parts, the first one based on a survey with responses from 167 experts, decision makers and business persons in 23 Member States, the other on country papers, reviewing more or less official positions of 8 member states.
The authors are, of course, very well aware of the lack of representativity and other statistical fallacies of the sample survey. Nevertheless, some very interesting information can be gleaned from the results.
To start with, dissatisfaction was great with present System of Own Resources (the way in which the EU budget is financed). Transparency, autonomy, fairness and efficiency were rated as poor – only “sufficiency” received a somewhat higher rating. The expenditure structure was rated even more harshly.
Interestingly enough, more than 20 % of the respondents would prefer a considerably larger EU budget than 1.5 % of the GNI (the present ceiling is 1.24 % – the actual budgets are as a rule lower than 1 %). Figures in a range of 2 to 15 (!) %