Expatica news

Germany’s slashes EU contribution

12 May 2004

BRUSSELS – Germany’s contribution to the European Union’s joint budget will be slashed by EUR 1.4 billion in 2004 because of a budgetary surplus run up by the bloc last year, the European Commission said Wednesday.

“This news should make life easier for (German Finance Minister) Hans Eichel,” European Commissioner for budgetary affairs Michaele Schreyer told reporters.

Overall, the EU had run up a surplus of EUR 5.47 billion last year, Schreyer said, adding that as a result, all 25 old and new EU states would be paying less-than-anticipated into the 2004 budget.

“The 2003 surplus represents savings for all 25 member states as it will mean a substantial reduction in their contributions to this year’s budget,” Schreyer said.

“Many countries will be very happy,” she added.

The Commission said the budgetary surplus was due to the number of large fines imposed on companies and lower-than-expected expenditure in the farm sector.

The EU’s 2004 budget is set at just under EUR 100 billion.

Subject: German news