What’s the EU’s secret plan to get some sensible budgets out of France and Germany? Spend more money! Read:
European Commission chief Romano Prodi urged EU member states Tuesday to match their high-flown goals for the enlarging bloc with the funds to do the job.
Prodi defended newly unveiled proposals by the EU executive for a huge hike in EU spending over 2007-2013 by pointing to the challenges facing the bloc, not least its historic expansion in May from 15 to 25 countries.
In a speech to the European Parliament, he took issue with a call by the EU’s six richest countries for the long-term budget to be capped at 1.0 percent of the bloc’s combined gross national income (GNI).
After proposing a spending level equivalent to 1.22 percent of GNI over 2007-2013, Prodi said the approach demanded by the six “puts numbers before the political project”.
“It is like building a house by starting with the roof,” he added.
“While chiseling away at the foundation,” he didn’t add, but should have.
Seriously — how impressed are the new Eastern European democracies going to be about “deeping” the EU, when the undemocratic Commission wants more money from nations whose budgets are already over the agreed-to deficit limits?