Saturday 27 February 2021
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EU multi-year budget: some countries have to pay billions more

The draft multi-year budget of the European Union means that some EU countries will have to pay billions of euros more each year, and many others will receive considerably more subsidies from Brussels. According to the British business newspaper Financial Times, this is apparent from German calculations on the long-term estimates of the EU.

The European Commission has still made amounts public because the multi-annual budget is still the subject of consultations and discussions. The level of the EU budgets is decided not only by finance ministers or government leaders, but also by the European Commission and the European Parliament. In addition, national parliaments have control over the annual payment to EU. It has already been shown that there is great disagreement behind the scenes.

It is clear from the German calculations that major financial shifts will be needed to be able to pay all wishes and desires for new policy. In addition, major differences of opinion have arisen as to how much the budget may increase, or whether expenditure should be limited to the current level of recent years. For example, not only the loss of the British contribution after the Brexit must be settled by the remaining 27 EU countries, but also the new climate policy ('green deal') and other wishes of the new Von der Leyen Commission.


In addition, the European Commission has apparently proposed abolishing the discounts negotiated by a number of EU countries in recent years. As a result, according to German calculations, the Dutch annual net contribution would rise from 5 billion euros to 7.5 billion euros, after deduction of subsidies received. As the largest net contributor, Germany should even double the payment from 15 to 33 billion euros. France now pays 7.5 billion euros net to EU, and would only rise to 10 billion. This is mainly because France receives a lot of agricultural subsidies.


The shifts in annual contributions are partly the result of a proposal from the European Commission to increase the annual EU budget to 1.1 percent of everything earned in the European Union. The European Parliament wants to increase the budget even more.


The Dutch government finds a Dutch increase to gross 13 billion euros unacceptable, partly because a large part of the increase is caused by the intended abolition of the discount of now 1.5 billion for the Netherlands. Brussels wants to get rid of those discounts for net contributors on their gross payment.


Sweden, Austria and Denmark will also pay considerably more in those calculations if it is up to the European Commission. Together with Germany and the Netherlands, they form a club that wants to prevent the increases and spend a maximum of 1 percent of the income of all EU countries via Brussels. But the other 22 EU countries usually see the rise, because it is profitable for them. For example, Poland now receives a net 10 billion EU subsidy, which would rise to 12 billion euros in 2027.

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