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 2007 EC Budget negotiations and for the proposed fundamental review of the EC Budget in 2008-09. The principles for budgetary examination highlighted in your report are fully consistent with those with which the Government approached negotiations on the 2007 EC Budget. As in previous years, we have sought 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 note the Committee still had concerns regarding the complexity of agreements underpinning structural funds and the predominance of the Common Agricultural Policy in the budget. While the Government strove to ensure that appropriation figures for Structural Funds and CAP remain realistic relative to recorded implementation rates, these negotiations did not provide the appropriate forum to discuss more fundamental reform in these areas. Both these areas of spending will be considered in the 2008-09 Budget Review.

  For further detail on these negotiations and their outcome, I would refer you to the updates I have provided throughout the negotiations, and in particular to my letter dated 22 January 2007.[41] This provides the details of the 2007 EC Budget which was adopted by the European Parliament on 10 December and assesses the degree to which the Government was successful in achieving its original objectives.

16 March 2007

41   Correspondence with Ministers, November 2006-April 2007, EC Budget 2007. Back

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