Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-217"

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"First of all I wish to congratulate Alain Lamassoure for an excellent report. His is an excellent presentation of the flaws in the current system. Put briefly, the present financing system is undemocratic. For a start, the citizens of the EU do not understand by how much and in what way the Union is funded. Secondly, national parliaments are mere rubber stamps in negotiations on the budget. When governments have finished discussing the financial framework, not one national parliament throws it out. Thirdly, the status of the European Parliament, a body which is elected in direct national elections, is at the very least peculiar in budget negotiations. The European Parliament is the world’s only parliament which decides on expenditure but not income. As we know, the EU’s resources accumulate from levies on agriculture and sugar production, customs duties levied at external frontiers, VAT and Member State contributions based on GNP. Attention is being paid to contributions. A sense of proportion is lost in these wretched budget talks. Each Member State calculates how much the Union costs it and how much it gets. The Union’s entire budget, however, is about just 1% of the whole region’s GNI. The EU is thus turning into little more than a bookkeeping exercise. We forget that the EU is a project for peace. Viewed this way the EU is a cheap project. We need a financing system which supports the EU’s purpose. That is why we should support Mr Lamassoure’s report."@en1

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