This paper assesses the role of the European Parliament as an agenda-setter for change in the European Union's budget, expenditure and revenue since 1969. The European Parliament has for almost five decades worked to extend its own budgetary powers, often with significant set-backs. While the Parliament has succeeded in extending de facto powers in some areas, the Council has jealously guarded prerogatives over what used to be compulsory expenditure as well as the revenue side of the budget. Although the Lisbon Treaty saw a net reversal in the Parliament's powers of the purse, in 2013 the Parliament from a weak position was able to use its power of consent over the Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) to ensure greater flexibility in expenditure and a revision of the budget's revenue base.
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