Select Committee on European Union Thirty-Seventh Report


Letter from Ed Balls MP, Economic Secretary, HM Treasury to the Chairman

  I am grateful for the Committee's overall endorsement of the Government's priorities for the 2006 EC Budget negotiations. The Government continuously sought, and will continue to seek, to ensure that all proposed EU spending is assessed for the value that it adds and that total expenditure levels remain below Financial Perspective ceiling levels. I also welcome the Committee's support for the Government's ongoing efforts to secure the reform of the CAP. It should be noted, however, that while the government will always strive in Annual Budget negotiations to ensure that appropriation figures for agriculture remain realistic relative to recorded implementation rates, these negotiations do not provide the appropriate forum to discuss more fundamental reform of the CAP. This area of spending will be considered in the 2008-09 Budget Review.

  I note that the Committee had concerns over the discussions we have had on the current Financial Perspective 2007-13. As you are aware, since this report was written, these negotiations have been successfully concluded. I believe the Inter-Institutional Agreement that was agreed in December 2005, was a positive outcome for the UK and the European Union. As far as the outcome of the 2006 Annual Budget negotiations is concerned, I would refer you to the update provided to your committee by my predecessor in January 2006.[2] This provides the details of the 2006 EC Budget which was finally adopted and assesses the degree to which the Government was successful in achieving its objectives.

16 March 2007

2   Correspondence with Ministers, 40th Report of Session 2006-07, HL Paper187. EC Budget 2006. Letter from Ivan Lewis MP, Economic Secretary, HM Treasury to the Chairman, 10 January 2006. Back

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