The article presented at the Fair Tax Conference in Vienna, September 2016, places the reform of own resources in the contest of the difficulties of the European ideals and the attitude of part of the European public opinion towards the European project.
This reform cannot be treated as ‘business as usual’ but it should be seen as part of deeper reform of the EU methods and values. Reforming the EU financing mechanisms could constitute one of the pillars of a relaunch of the European project, starting from the basic principles of the European construction: Subsidiarity and European added value. Those fundamental principles should drive all EU policies, existing and to come.
The reform of own resources cannot be isolated by the expenditure. This article reviews the various proposals of EU taxes, already formally proposed by the Commission or discussed in academic fora, reaching the conclusions that, most of the suggestions have some positive element, but the perfect tax doesn’t exist. A reform of own resources cannot be done through small adjustments, it has to last many years, even decades, then it needs ambitions, flexibility and also checks and balances mechanisms.
To conclude the article outlines a possible procedures which could guarantee a smooth implementation as well as a correct level of decision maintaining the supremacy of the intergovernmental method for the framework decisions but leaving at the community method for the financing pf the annual budget.
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