Croatia Agrees to Increase Payments into EU Budget

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 2, 2018 – Eight Eastern European EU countries, including Croatia, agreed on Friday to support an increase in payments by member states in the bloc’s next long-term budget, to help fill the hole after net contributor Britain leaves, Reuters news agency said.

Ministers and other representatives of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania met in Budapest with the EU’s Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger to discuss issues including the bloc’s next budget plan.

“The eight countries agreed with the increasing of the GNI-proportionate payment, which is a major success of the day,” Reuters quoted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff Janos Lazar as telling a news conference. “The eight countries opened the opportunity that the payment should increase even up to 1.1 percent (of gross national income),” he added.

Lazar thanked these member states for their willingness to contribute more money to the common budget and called on the EU to reduce bureaucracy and make the budget process simpler, faster and cheaper.

Britain’s exit in March next year will deprive Brussels of some 12 billion euros from an annual budget now running around 140 billion euros. The ex-Communist countries of the east are mostly net recipients of EU funds, and worried that a shortfall in the bloc’s budget would leave them with less cash, Reuters said.

Oettinger said last month that the next EU budget should increase from around 1 percent of EU output to slightly more than 1.1 percent, to make up for funds the bloc will no longer receive from Britain.

Oettinger reiterated in Budapest on Friday that once Britain leaves the EU certain budgetary cuts will be necessary. “I am extremely grateful for the eight member states that they were willing to contribute a bit more,” he told the same press conference.


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