Belgium paid 710 million to EU in 2006
25 September 2007
BRUSSELS – Belgium was once again a net-payer to the European Union in 2006. It handed over EUR 710.9 million, or 0.23 percent of its gross national income, more to the Union than it received. Percentage-wise the Netherlands is the largest net payer: it hands over 0.47 percent of its gross national income to the Union. Sweden comes in second place with 0.28 percent, and Germany in third with 0.27 percent. This emerged on figures released by the European Commission on Monday.
The 0.23 percent from Belgium is high, but not a record. In both 2003 and 2001 the country handed over 0.28 percent of its gross national income to Europe. Some member states claim that the Belgian contribution has not been properly calculated. After all it does not take into account the EU’s administrative expenditures that largely end up in Belgium and Luxembourg. In 2006 the total administrative expenditures came to EUR 6.7 billion. If these were taken into account then Belgium would be a net-recipient.
In 2007 the Union’s new long term budget came into effect. At the European Council of December 2005 the largest net-payers, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Austria, managed to secure a rebate for the years 2007-2014. The bureau for economic policy says this will result in an additional cost of 0.11 percent for Belgium for the period 2007-2013 as a whole. And not to forget that Belgium paid more than EUR 249 million last year to finance the UK’s rebate, which came to EUR 5.2 billion in 2006.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news