Institutions and the route to reform of the European Union’s budget revenue, 1970-2017

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Using process tracing, this paper charts the history of the changes in the EU’s revenue since 1970, including package deals and the unforeseen consequences of change, comparing the positions of the Council to those of the European Commission and European Parliament. Those revenue decisions allowed European integration to proceed though without a fully autonomous budget as Member States became more careful to calculate their net benefits or costs in relation to the budget. In December 2013, the European Union’s institutions established a High Level Group to recommend changes to the revenue base of the EU’s budget. This reported in January 2017, proposing to resolve the effect of sub-optimal revenue and budget decisions made by the European Union over many years, to reduce direct national contributions, to minimise the risk of unforeseen consequences, and to combine revenue flows with steering effects to discourage certain forms of economic behaviour in line with the wider policy agenda of the European Union.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-633
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Early online date2 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Own Resources
  • EU budget
  • United Kingdom rebate
  • EU institutions

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