The European Budget and the Principles of Solidarity and Added Value
By presenting a proposal for the EU's fifth Financial Perspective, now named Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), in June 2011, the European Commission started negotiations on the European Union's budget policy and financial programming that are expected to end in December 2012. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the MFF negotiations will be extremely difficult because a settlement can only be achieved by consensus. That means that all 27 member states and the European Parliament will have to agree. Two principles might be taken as guidelines to facilitate a compromise: the principle of European solidarity and the principle of European added value. The task will be to define a concept that combines both principles so that it can become the main argument and narrative for explaining the complex budget negotiations, enabling the European Union to avoid a stalemate.
Keywords: European budget, principle of solidarity, principle of added value