The break-up of a marriage can exact a significant price on those involved. Children, family, friends and even pets can all be affected to some degree in addition to the husband and wife. To the emotional toll can be added the financial elements of separation - lump sums, property transfers, maintenance and pensions.
The European Parliament has always argued that the EU should have its own resources. Today 75% of the EU's budget comes from national contributions based on gross national income. A contribution based on value-added tax accounts for a further 11%, while traditional own resources such as customs duties, agricultural duties and sugar levies come to 13%.