Council President Charles Michel is debating the compromise proposal on the EU budget ahead of Thursday’s EU summit. This goes “in the right direction,” said Austria’s Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler (VP) on Monday before a meeting with ministerial colleagues in Brussels: “The pressure from the net contributor countries has evidently borne fruit.” However, a “substantial discussion” is still required.
Michel’s proposal provides for member states to contribute 1.074 percent of economic output. This is significantly less than the 1.114 percent required by the EU Commission and the 1.3 percent required by the EU Parliament. So far, net payer countries such as Austria have risen to 1.0 percent. Most recently, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (VP) also signaled willingness to compromise. Spain did not give Michel’s proposal sufficient yesterday, Germany called for focus on future issues in the budget.
Kurz and his counterparts from the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden yesterday emphasized that they insisted on the premium discount applicable to their countries in order to prevent “excessive imbalances”. You are ready to pay more than you get back. However, there are limits. Austria’s MEPs Othmar Karas (VP), Andreas Schieder (SP) and Monika Vana (Greens), on the other hand, spoke in favor of this regulation expiring. Karas said in Vienna, “The British discount was the beginning of Brexit”. Discounts “are the beginning of cherry picking”.
You can read more about this in the editorial by Sylvia Wörgetter.
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