Non-paper from AT, CZ, DE, FI, NL, SE, UK – May 29, 2012 We are convinced that the Commission’s proposal is significantly in excess of what is needed

for a stabilization of the European budget at a time when Member States are undertaking tough consolidation efforts. The new Multiannual Financial Framework should not lead to an increase in national contributions to the EU budget. Accordingly, total spending for the 2014-2020 period needs to be substantially lower than proposed by the Commission. In times of scarce resources, we need to make the best use of the European budget in order to create better conditions for sustained growth, innovation and job creation by anchoring budgetary discipline and better growth as equal pillars. We need to spend better, not to spend more. A higher quality of spending also calls for setting priorities of expenditures, better financial accountability and much stricter rules to ensure close links between fiscal and economic coordination and EU spending. This will ensure an environment conducive to growth and competitiveness. In this context, we call for increased incentives to better implement the allocation of resources across all policy areas. The spring European Council should on a regular basis address the question of whether the objectives of EU funding have been achieved. If progress towards these objectives is inadequate, it should be possible to reroute further funding. In order to increase incentives for a higher quality of spending, we support the idea of a Performance Reserve, which should be introduced on a voluntary basis and below the EU level. Member States should also continue to be substantially involved in co-financing EU funded projects. EU spending should support the completion of the EU internal market. In this regard, it should be more ambitiously geared towards investment in the EU’s research, education and innovation effort and in sustainable growth and employment. Moreover, private investment and entrepreneurship should be bolstered by removing red tape. This will contribute to a sustainable economic recovery and will boost growth and create employment. Furthermore, the potential of the EIB could ensure high quality projects and facilitate access to finance for growth-oriented and innovative SMEs.

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