Research Topics

EU policy reform and the EU budget

The EU’s most important economic project is the European internal market. Other recognised goals include ensuring respect of the fundamental freedoms and deepening economic integration. The extent to which a functioning internal market requires the coordination or harmonisation of national policies, however, is debatable. The EU is also expected to bring together the interests of member states in the fields of foreign and security policy, migration policy and international environmental policy. Against this background, various indications suggest that the structure of the EU budget is focused on backward-looking and redistributive spending, where it is not clear that value is being created and that there is a sufficient contribution to tackling the challenges ahead. The revenue side of the EU budget is also controversial. The distribution of the budget burden is often criticised as unfair, amid calls for new types of own-resources funding or even EU taxes. In addition, budget adjustments are now required to accommodate Britain’s imminent exit from the EU.

Three example research questions posed by EconPol Europe in this area are:

  • In which areas do barriers to cross-border commercial trade in the European internal market still exist and what would be needed to eliminate them?
  • What are the consequences of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU for the EU budget and for the internal market?
  • Should the financing of the EU budget be changed, and if so, how?


Sarah Ciaglia, Clemens Fuest, Friedrich Heinemann: What a feeling?! How to promote ‘European Identity’, EconPol Policy Report 9, October 2018.

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Richard Collier, Seppo Kari, Olli Ropponen, Martin Simmler and Maximilian Todtenhaupt: Dissecting the EU’s Recent Anti-Tax Avoidance Measures: Merits and Problems, EconPol Policy Report 8, September 2018.

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Christoph Harendt, Friedrich Heinemann and Stefani Weiss, "EU Budget Reforms: Where Can Europe Really Add Value?", EconPol Policy Brief 5, March 2018.

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Felbermayr, Gabriel, Fuest, Clemens, Groschl, Jasmin and Stoehlker, Daniel: "Economic Effects of Brexit  on the European Economy", EconPol Policy Report 4, November 2017.

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Alcidi, Cinzia, Mathias Dolls, Clemens Fuest, Carla Krolage and Florian Neumeier, "The Nature of Shocks in the Eurozone and Their Absorption Channels", EconPol Policy Report 3, November 2017.

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Heinemann, Friedrich: "The Case for Co-Financing the CAP", EconPol Working Paper 4, September 2017.

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Heinemann, Friedrich, "Common Agricultural Policy Beyond 2020: Commission’s initiative on CAP co-fnancing points into promising direction", EconPol Policy Brief 1, July 2017.

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