Saturday, 24 February, 2018

EU mulls strengthened link between budget, rules respect

14 Feb 2018, 20:46 ( 9 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Photo Xinhua

The European Commission, or the executive arm of the European Union (EU), is setting out options to modernize the EU budget, including by possibly strengthening the link between EU funding and the respect for the bloc's fundamental values, it was announced on Wednesday.

Ahead of the EU leaders' informal meeting on Feb. 23, 2018, when they are set to discuss the bloc's post-2020 budget plans, the Commission on Wednesday presented various options and their financial consequences for a new and modern, long-term EU budget after 2020.

"It sets out possibilities for strengthening the link -- often referred to as "conditionality" -- between EU funding and the respect for the EU's fundamental values," a Commission statement said.

The announcement came amid an ongoing clash between Warsaw and Brussels over the rule of law in Poland.

EU MEMBERS URGED TO PAY MORE INTO BUDGET

The Commission also urged EU countries to pay more into the budget.

"Member states must back their ambition up with the money to match. And whilst we all need to understand that business as usual is not an option for this upcoming discussion, I firmly believe that we can square the circle and agree on a budget where everyone will be a net beneficiary," said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

It is estimated that Britain, as a net contributor to the EU budget, will after its exit leave a shortfall of more than 12 billion euros (14.6 billion U.S. dollars) per year in the budget.

EU statistics show Poland is the biggest single beneficiary of EU budgets. Last year, it received 7.1 billion euros (8.7 billion dollars) more than it contributed to the EU budget. For the current seven-year budget period, such kind of fund transfers to EU's poor members are estimated to total 325 billion euros (396 billion dollars).

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