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    Wallonia could lose 11% of European subsidies after 2020

    Wallonia may lose 11% of its European subsidies after 2020, according to the budget proposed by the European Commission. The matter is reported in L’Echo on Friday, which has had sight of a note from the Walloon administration.

    Within its proposal, the European Commission is reducing its regional subsidies by 10% overall within the EU for the period 2021-2027. However, the financial envelope allocated to Belgium is the equivalent to that of the financial planning in progress, or €2.443 billion allowing for inflation.

    According to the note by the administration, analysing more closely the proposed figures and methodology, the Walloon region has a decline of 10.8% in European subsidies over the projected period. The Minister-President, Willy Borsus, stresses, “The component we should be pleased about is that according to the current forecast, we are in profit. Acknowledged as a region in transition, we can count on financial support for the reporting period estimated at €1.218 billion.”

    Belgium is one of the six countries subject to a new rule made by the Commission. As these countries’ GDP is in excess of 120% of the European average, their financial envelope cannot increase. Willy Borsus underlines, “If we were not included within this ceiling, as a region we would earn €67 million over the reporting period.” He goes on, “It is technical to calculate, but it is worth millions of euros to us.”

    However L’Echo calls for everyone to be cautious, as the proposal by the European Commission may yet evolve in the course of the negotiations in the coming months. Furthermore, there is a significant margin for intra-Belgian negotiations.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times