Photo: John Thys Agence France-Presse
The president of the european Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, during a conference marking the start of a debate on the next multiannual financial framework” of the EU, in Brussels Monday. “We come to the limits of our possibilities”, he warned.
The european Commission on Monday gave the kick-off to the debate thorny on the budgets post-Brexit from the EU, preventing the capitals, that they needed to prepare for the “cuts impressive” in some areas, while contributing more to the common pot.
The British departure, scheduled in march 2019, will leave a “hole” considerable every year in european finance, at a time when the EU seeks to fund new policies in sectors such as defence or migration.
“We come to the limits of our possibilities,” warned the president of the european Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, during a conference in Brussels, marking the start of a debate on the next multiannual financial framework ” of the EU.
The current framework covers the period 2014-2020, with a budget ceiling set at about 963 billion euro for seven years. Despite his departure in 2019, the Uk is committed to pay its share up to 2020 is included, but the EU will then have to do without the british contribution.
“A net contributor [to give more to the EU than it receives from its part] will leave us and we are going to lose 12-13 billion euros per year “, has estimated the european commissioner responsible for the Budget, Günther Oettinger.
To fill this “hole” is related to the Brexit, the commissioner of germany has proposed “savings of up to 50% of that amount and to find “fresh money” for the other half. And on the new policies that must fund the EU, for a true european defence, or to secure its borders, Mr. Oettinger has suggested that to “80 %” of the money.
Germany and the other
The Commission will make more detailed proposals in may and wants to reach an agreement within the EU to 2019, prior to the appointed a new executive.
But regardless of the settings that will be retained, all the ingredients are gathered to revive the traditional arm-wrestling between the big contributors such as Germany, were little inclined to give more, and the main beneficiaries of european funds, worried at the idea of receiving less.
“There will be a heavy debate on the common agricultural Policy [CAP] and on the cohesion fund in favour of regions, the least rich of the EU, has acknowledged Mr Juncker, referring to these two sectors, focusing currently more than two-thirds of the european budgets.
The head of the eu executive has said its aversion to the idea of “cuts bloody” in these policies, but Günther Oettinger admitted that he had to prepare for ” sacrifices “.
“It’s going to have to make cuts in some major programs, and cuts impressive,” warned the commissioner in germany, to which only programs such as Erasmus (for students) or Horizon 2020 (for research) need to escape any ” cutting “.
Is against West
MESSRS Juncker and Oettinger have also clearly advocated for an increase of national contributions to the EU budget, currently capped at 1 % of the GDP of the member States. “We don’t need 2% of GDP, but more than 1 %, say 1.1% and dust “, said Mr Oettinger.
The great budget debate will be all the more delicate that it could become a new ground of quarrel between the east and west of the Union.
Several countries, headed by Germany, suggest in effect to condition future access to eu funds to respect the values and decisions of the EU, which clearly aims Hungary and Poland.
The two countries have refused to enforce quotas of home mandatory of refugees in the past two years, and Warsaw has openly defied Brussels by now of the judicial reforms that threaten the rule of law according to the Commission.
The leaders of the EU countries will have a first opportunity to exchange between them on the outlines of the budgets of the EU at an informal summit scheduled for 23 February in Brussels.