Strategically financing an effective role for the EU in the world: First reflections on the next EU budget

This paper provides a first set of reflections on how to strategically finance an effective role for the European Union (EU) in the world beyond 2020. To this end, this paper first looks at the broader picture of the global and European context shaping the EU’s external action.

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    Evidence suggests that the EU is still confronted with major internal and external challenges of an existential nature. Fundamental reforms are called for, though there is much confusion on the agenda and the most effective pathways to change. Section 2 reflects on the nexus between external and internal EU policies, observing a blurring of the lines between both types of expenditures. Building on these analyses, the paper then zooms in on two particularly thorny questions:

    1. the preparation of a next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) that provides more flexibility
      as well as suitable external financing instruments (EFIs) beyond 2020 (section 3);
    2. the place and weight of ‘values’ in future partnerships between EU and countries/regions across
      the globe (section 4).
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