EU Budget to Shrink by EUR 50 B, Bulgaria among Worst Affected

Bulgaria in EU | October 30, 2012, Tuesday // 12:40|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

The governments of the EU Member States have slashed the proposal of the European Commission for the financial framework for the years 2014-2020 by at least EUR 50 B.

According to reports of Austrian daily Die Presse citing diplomatic sources, there will be less money for farmers, less money for new highways, less money for research, and less money for the Eurocrats.

The proposal of the Cypriot EU Presidency involves a reduction by around 4% in spending plans for 2014-2020.

All EU policies will be affected, with particularly large spending cuts in the cohesion policy and agricultural subsidies.

The step will mostly affect poorer Eastern European countries which joined the EU in two waves in 2004 and 2007, including Bulgaria, according to the Vienna-based daily.

Under the proposal, an EU Member State will be able to cover no more than 2.35% of its economic output through EU funding opportunities, while the cap was previously at 2.5%.

The cuts will also affect the common agricultural policy, most of all direct payments.

The so-called "second pillar" of CAP, or the Rural Development Program, which is used to finance measures for biodiversity conservation, the preservation of traditional village structures and the like, will see a comparatively little reduction, Die Presse informs.

According to the Austrian daily, the EU net contributor countries, including Austria, originally called to cut the EU financial framework by at least EUR 100 B.

The severe recession in all the Mediterranean countries, however, made clear that crisis-stricken countries from Portugal to Greece cannot cut the EU funds they need badly.

They are pretty much unaffected by the spending cuts proposed by the Cypriot Presidency at the expense of Eastern European countries.

There will also be cuts in the sphere of science and research.

The Galileo satellite navigation project and the international nuclear fusion project ITER, which previously ran outside the EU financial framework, are to be included into the EU budget.

As a result, the current state off affairs will be kept in this budget chapter, but there will be less money for popular projects like the Erasmus student exchange program.

The number of EU officials will also be reduced, according to Die Presse.

The Vienna-based daily notes, however, that the total budget will be slightly reduced, adding that a good 94% of the EU budget goes back to the Member States.

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Tags: EU budget, 2014-2020 budget, EU member states, common agricultural policy, cohesion policy, Cypriot EU Presidency, Rural Development Program, Eastern European


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