Thus in the USA, many states contribute far more to the federal level than they receive from it, whereas others need significant net support. The system copes without quasi-Thatcherite cries of ‘I want my money back’.
Social protection instruments are essential so that ‘a dignified standard of living can be guaranteed to all citizens’. Part of the purpose of government is to ensure these and the obligation bears on the EU itself, not only on Member States.
This crisis goes back a long way, and if we blame ourselves for anything, it could be for not noticing it early enough and not exposing the destructive elements which have found their way into what in those days we still called our community.
Twenty years after Maastricht, the twin treaties on the European Stability Mechanism and on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, negotiated under pressure of the debt crisis, represent important steps towards the necessary consolidation of the European Union.
Within the scope of the fundamental renewal of the value-added tax system, the European Commission is planning measures to make the system simpler, more efficient and better protected against fraud. Tax exemptions for non-profit organisations and reduced tax rates are also being examined closely.