Chapter 3: The EU budget between bargaining tool and policy instrument
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In the academic and political debate, the argument that the EU budget is a relic of the past and needs a deep reform is commonplace. Despite numerous proposals for improvements, the reforms of the past did not meet expectations. However, the EU budget has been evolving during the past decades. Given the new internal and external challenges of the EU, it appears that we are facing a further reform of spending policies while a reform of the revenue side may be postponed – again. In this text we will look for evidence that could confirm that the EU budget has already started an important transformation which, according to the debates on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–2027, will continue after 2020.

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