Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

The EU Budget


Creating greater synergies between European, national and subnational Budgets

2 July 2012
Claire Dhéret (Senior Policy Analyst and FutureLab Europe Programme Leader), Andreea Martinovici (External authors) and Fabian Zuleeg (Chief Executive and Chief Economist)



In this report, Claire Dhéret, Andreea Martinovici and Fabian Zuleeg look at ways of exploiting the EU budget’s full potential, arguing that maximising synergies with national and subnational budgets and improving coordination mechanisms would be potential solutions to avoid duplicating expenditure and achieve better results with fewer resources.

When looking at the context for analysis, the authors highlight three major findings: an increased reference to LRAs in EU frameworks, despite some inconsistencies (1); a variety of budget structures and budget cycles applied at subnational level (2); and a diversity of coordination mechanisms between national and subnational budgets (3), largely depending on each country’s system of government and the degree of budgetary and fiscal autonomy of their regions.

Based on the results of analysing the EU instruments and mechanisms’ impact on subnational budgets, the report identifies risks of discrepancy between the three levels of governance and argues that there is a strong need to ensure a high EU-level degree of coherence among the current budgetary, strategic and economic frameworks. The increased coherence needs to manifest both in terms of content and timescale, in order to facilitate coordination with the national and regional levels. While some elements of new EU strategic, budgetary and economic frameworks, such as the increased focus on medium-term budgetary frameworks and thematic concentration, go in the right direction and have the potential to improve coordination, the results will very much hinge on the concrete implementation of these measures and the degree of involvement of LRAs.

To read the paper, please click here.

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