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ID number:153616
Published: 08.01.2003.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 3 units
References: Not used

Since the start of the 1980s, Union expenditure has risen from 1.7 to 2.5% of the total public expenditure of the Member States. At ECU 84.5 billion, total Union expenditure in 1996 amounts to only 1.26% of the combined gross domestic product of the Member States.
The European taxpayer's money is not swallowed up by an administrative machine: it is used to finance measures to achieve the aims of European integration and most of the revenue is redistributed throughout the Union. Despite the need for European institutions to work in all 11 official languages, administrative expenditure accounts for only 5% of the budget, while operational expenditure, managed by the Commission, accounts for 95%.
The most largest size of the EU`s budget is distributed to agriculture. In 1996 agriculture still accounts for 47.8% of the Union's financial commitments (ECU 41.3 billion): this is because it is the sector where the transfer of powers, and therefore of national expenditure, to the Union has gone furthest. Yet the cost of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is very modest at around ECU 0.3 per person per day.
If all the citizens of the Union are to enjoy the advantages of the single market and of the economic and monetary union that is coming into being, the Union and its Member States must rise to the challenges of reducing the disparities in wealth between regions and improving the employment situation, in short the challenge of greater economic and social cohesion. It is for this reason that the Union is devoting ECU 29.1 billion to the modernization of economic structures, especially on a regional basis, and to the improvement of the social situation of the underprivileged sections of the population.…

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