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Rutte cabinet pushing for reform of EU budgets

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE The Dutch have been pushing for European Union budget reform for some time already. They want the EU to restructure the way it receives and spends funds. The Rutte cabinet sent its views on the matter to the Second Chamber recently, as a kickoff for its list of demands. The list starts with a key demand that the EU budget not outpace the inflation threshold when the new budget treaty starts in 2014. It wants a permanent drop in its net EU-budget share, now the highest per capita in the bloc. The contributions of member nations must be tied to GNP. It opposes the proposal of the EUs cabinet, the EC, to raise EU taxes, from, among others, the financial industry, aviation, and sales taxes on energy and corporate profits. The Dutch also want EU funding curtailed. Now economically trailing areas in rich countries receive EU subsidies. These funds should only be spent in trailing areas in poorer EU member nations, the Dutch say. The Dutch also want cuts in general agricultural spending but more investment in innovation and in strengthening competitiveness. More funds should be directed to law enforcement and the courts, to refugee and migration files. It also wants the EU to settle on one meeting place of the European Parliament, instead of the current two. The negotiations are expected to start this June.