Financial Autonomy of the European Union after Enlargement
Rui Henrique Alves
One of the most important and current problems in the European Union (EU) public finance concerns its system of own resources. Almost all economists involved in the subject agree that the present system needs a comprehensive reform, as it does efficiently allows to deal with the new reality of the enlarged European Union. However, there is quite a divergence on how to do the reform, the problem lying in its range and directions. In general some economists postulate to extend the EU tax base by the creation of one or more new EU taxes whereas others opt for simplifying the system by replacing traditional and VAT resources with the so called ”fourth resource”. These differences mainly result from dissimilar approaches of economists to the criterion of financial autonomy. The main aim of this paper is to evaluate the present system of EU own resources and the proposals of its reform owing to the criterion of financial autonomy.
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