Is the EU running out of money?

2023-12-10 11:27:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
Is the EU running out of money?
Illustrative photo

Not only Berlin fights for money, but also Brussels. The European Commission anticipates increasing the EU budget by 66 billion euros. The German government wants to save.

Even in Brussels there are fights about money. The European Commission is the body that oversees money in the EU. Now he wants to clearly define how much funding can be spent in the next four years. The EC plans a stratospheric amount: more than 1 billion euros. But this is not enough. EC experts and the president, Ursula von der Leyen, request an additional 66 billion euros from the instance of the Medium-Term Financial Framework. With the argument that even official Berlin knows, that we are in a state of emergency: The war in Ukraine, the pressure of migration and the consequences of the pandemic. The 66 billion euros include 50 billion euros for Ukraine and 16 billion for migration and border protection.

Germany: EU to save elsewhere

Germany, which is among the net payers of the EU, would have to provide more funds in such a case. Olaf Scholz's government does not want this.

Not at all after the decision of the Constitutional Court. (According to the decision, the German government cannot use the 60 billion euros as loans reserved from the time of the pandemic for another purpose. ed.). Berlin says the EU should save elsewhere. Then there are net recipient countries like Spain or Greece. They receive more money from European funds than they give. Therefore, the growth that the EU is looking for is welcome for them. Border protection measures will be used with these funds.

Therefore they support this budget increase. Net recipient countries versus EU net payers. In Brussels, meanwhile, there are no debates about finding a deal like in Berlin. Each waits for the other, no one takes a step forward. This is dangerous because time is running out and a compromise is required.

No deal would bring into question billions of aid to Ukraine: 50 billion euros. Ukraine pays teachers, doctors, hospitals with them. No one doubts that Ukraine needs these aids. This was also emphasized by the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, in a recent government statement in Berlin. The European Commission, EC should save elsewhere.

Savings pressure: Countries receiving EU funds are against it

These savings are not wanted by net recipient countries in the EU. Their argument: more money for Ukraine, but less for countries struggling with migration - this is not accepted. Affected Italy says it cannot explain to its citizens why aid to Ukraine is more important than aid to the Italian border regions struggling with the influx of refugees. The EC refuses to separate aid to Ukraine from their aid. No deal in sight

So far, there seems to be no chance of a deal. No deal is expected at the summit next week either. This risks a scenario that no one wants: that the aid to Ukraine is jeopardized, because the EU paralyzes itself with the budget negotiations, and no one moves from the positions. Politics is being done according to the motto: whoever moves first, has lost./ DW

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