Europe started small. For the first Brussels households, it was sufficient to draw on revenue derived from the common policy, in particular customs duties, sugar levies and agricultural levies. But tariffs declined with the liberalization of world trade, and the financing needs of the Community grew. Therefore, other “traditional” own resources were added: in 1980 it was decided to transfer a (very small) share of the national VAT revenue to Brussels. He contributes about ten percent to the EU budget. The remainder, now more than three quarters, consists of national contributions based on a fixed percentage of a country’s gross national income.
This should change in the period from 2021 to 2027. The EU does not just want to compensate for the loss caused by the Brexit. She wants to make the relationship between budget and EU policy clearer and to intervene more strongly in the budget. About environmental policy. The “basket” of new own resources, ie fresh money, therefore counts a plastic tax. The revenue would not be huge on a European scale, the Commission expects between four and eight billion euros per year. However, she sees it as an important building block in the recently announced plastic strategy aimed at reducing waste and promoting recycling. According to this, all plastic packaging in Europe should be recyclable by 2030. Currently, 60 percent of the EU’s annual 26 million tonnes of plastic waste land on landfills, in incinerators or in the environment, especially in the seas.
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The Commission looks favorably on national plastic taxes, which have drastically reduced the consumption of plastic bags. However, this makes no sense at all across the EU like a tax on the production of plastic, which only penalizes industry. Therefore, the authority has opted for a tax, which starts with the amount of non-recycled plastic waste in the respective country, for example by bottles. Per kilo would be 80 cents due. Revenue remained relatively stable until 2027, according to the Commission. It expects a rising recycling rate (2030 it should be 55 percent), but also with even more plastic waste.
In a similar vein, the plan is to channel 20% of the revenue from emissions trading, which is currently booked nationally, into the EU budget. Depending on the price of the pollution rights could thus be achieved, according to Commission 1.2 to three billion euros. That would be a small, rather unstable source of income.
The third idea of Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger would have a far greater effect: access to corporate taxation. Between four and 23 billion euros per year this would bring in the cash, depending on the amount of the call rate. The commissioner recommends three percent. A common corporate tax base has been under discussion since the 1990s and in 2016 the Commission made a proposal. If taxable profits were to be calculated everywhere according to uniform rules, tax avoidance and fraud would be better combated. The deliberations are clear, however, and countries like Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland or Malta, which attract companies with tax advantages, are against it.
All in all, Oettinger wants to bring the EU budget in this way 22 billion euros, that would be twelve percent. That the plan is implemented in this way is not to be expected. This also applies to the plastic tax. Although she delights environmental politicians. Green boss Robert Habeck had demanded it again this week. But some experts doubt the ecological effectiveness and favor other measures. Not to mention basic criticism, as expressed by MEP Markus Ferber (CSU): “Member States are responsible for collecting taxes in the EU, and if we do not want to end up with a European super-state, we have to go here draw a clear red line. “
The Greens see in Oettinger’s submission a “step towards a future budget”, as MEP Helga Trüpel explained: “A self-confident European Union must not only be dependent on the payment behavior of its members.” If the EU only wanted, more sources of money could tap into. A report by experts led by Italian Mario Monti listed them in 2016: general carbon tax, gasoline tax, electricity tax, financial transaction or banking tax and a tax on central bank profits.