Like it or not, the idea of an in-out referendum will play a big part in the Britain's forthcoming general election. Britons might tell pollsters they care little about the topic, but Europe is woven into so many issues that it will be up there in the headlines day after day. Yet the question of Britain's E.U. membership defies simple answers.
If Europe can deliver an ambitious and effective Energy Union, we will deliver a range of crucial goals; more independence, a secure supply of energy, a more sustainable economy, with Europe once again leading the development of green technologies. Putin and many of the other energy exporters outside the EU, who have grown wealthy on our addiction to fossil fuels, will be willing us to fail; but this is a fight we cannot afford to lose.
There are in fact two types of EU budgets. There is the long-term budget, known as the multi-annual framework, which establishes the annual spending limits. This is negotiated ever seven years. There is also the annual budget, which sets out in more detail how the EU should spend its budget over the coming year.