39th REPORT: THE 2007 EC BUDGET
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
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.
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
16 March 2007
41 Correspondence with Ministers, November 2006-April
2007, EC Budget 2007. Back