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EU Commissioner Oettinger visits the Public Administration Institute

The heavy storm on Thursday 18 January did not prevent EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger from visiting the Hague. In addition to a visit to Prime Minister Rutte, the Dutch parliament and the Dutch Minister for Finance Hoekstra, he also visited Leiden University in The Hague. There he gave a Masterclass to students from the Institute of Public Administration about the EU budget. The central message from Oettinger last Thursday, as Hoekstra summed it up, is that honesty and reasonableness in the drafting of the new multi-annual budget must be the main focus.

The experienced EU Commissioner has the difficult task of completing the EU budget from 2021, taking into account all sorts of vested interests. Oettinger is ambitious in its efforts to increase national contributions, introduce a tax on plastic and increase EU budgets for safety, innovation and cohesion. The external threats to the European Union and the large differences within the EU were, according to the Commissioner, all reasons for doing more at a European level.

Shortly before the Commissioner's visit, the students were briefed by the Permanent Representation of the Commission in The Hague about the complex EU dossier. In an open setting, students were given plenty of room to discuss the various goals of the Commission extensively, as well as questions about the European playing field. Students seemed agree with some points, but that did not prevent them from asking critical questions about feasibility, among other things. The Institute of Public Administration is grateful to the Permanent Representation of the European Commission for the joint organization of the successful Masterclass.

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