Concerning the upcoming EU budget negotiations, what has been said on the subject in the recent past makes one suspect that once again everything will boil down to “juste retour” thinking. There is little sign that the heads of state and government will be prepared to change their minds in order to focus on the right priorities, the added value and the quality of European spending. The emphasis may once again be on to pay as little as possible to the EU, and at the same time to get back as much as feasible. The crucial question now is how the impeding gridlock between the net contributors and the net recipients can be adverted? The goal of the study is to find out whether the EU, through spending on the EU level, creates added value as compared to national spending. For this purpose the term “European added value” will be operationalized with the help of quantitative methods. The derived “added value”-indicators then are adapted to particular spending categories. Thus, it is possible to show whether and under what conditions spending on the EU level is not only politically meaningful, but also economically viable.