Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

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The EU Added Value Test to Justify EU spending: What impact for Regions and Local Authorities?

2 May 2011
Elisa Molino (External authors) and Fabian Zuleeg (Chief Executive and Chief Economist)



Although ‘EU added value’ has become a central term of the EU budget debate, the concrete application of the concept remains unclear.  In this paper, Fabian Zuleeg and Elisa Molino outline the variables which could be used to appraise the added value of EU spending, but they also stress the need to re-consider how the concept can be applied in the present discussion on the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Using EU cohesion policy as an example, the authors argue that the current difficult economic context requires the application of the added value principle as a means to prioritise, i.e. to decide on the best available spending options when dealing with scarce resources. Such an exercise of (re)-prioritisation might be needed across but also within policy area. In the case of cohesion, Fabian Zuleeg and Elisa Molino suggest possible paths for re-directing the policy in line with the dimensions of added value, such as a stronger support for poorest regions and the need to safeguard the  EU public goods by redressing the immediate impact of the crisis.

To read the paper, please click here.

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