6. 6.1 The EU budget INTRODUCTION Chapters 1 to 5 of this book detailed how the diﬀerent steps in the process of economic integration (Customs Union, Common Market, EMU) have contributed to the achievement of growth and stability, two of the three key goals in the EU model of economy and society. We have also clearly identiﬁed growth as the ‘missing’ element in the picture of the most recent years, and analysed some solutions to this problem (the Lisbon strategy). From this chapter onwards, we shall concentrate instead on how speciﬁc EU policies foster (or hinder) the achievement of the two previously discussed objectives, together with the attainment of the third, related, EU goal, cohesion. In this regard, it is quite obvious to point out that, without its own money, the EU would have a hard time conducting any such policies. In general, the ﬁnancial ﬂows to and from the EU and its member states, regions, private economic agents (citizens, ﬁrms, universities, local entities and so on) are varied and complex. Understanding their rationale (be it of an economic, social or political nature) and understanding the interinstitutional procedures through which these ﬂows are authorised, is crucial to understanding any EU policy. The EU budget in particular is the tool with which money is collected and spent for EU policies. Overall the EU budget has a very modest dimension. The maximum ceiling for the ﬁnancing of the EU budget, politically agreed among member states, is 1.27 per cent...
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