A post-Brexit EU would 'cost' Belgium €800 million more

A post-Brexit EU would 'cost' Belgium €800 million more
© Belga

Belgium's annual contribution to the common European finances would have to increase by €520 million, L'Echo reported on Wednesday, following the publication by the European Commission of the post-Brexit budget.

Taking into account the shortage to be made up in terms of customs resources transferred to the European Union, the "cost" of Europe was predicted to go up by €800 million a year for Belgium.

Following its long-term budget framework (CFP) proposal which marks out budgets from 2021 to 2027, the European Commission has detailed what the post-Brexit budget would mean for each member state.

According to the budget and cost-sharing formula proposed by the Commission, Belgium would have to contribute €520 million more annually to the European pot. This is a gross amount that does not take into account the subsidies Belgium could obtain from the EU.

The hike is the result of the loss that the departure of a big contributor like the United Kingdom represents, and of the Commission's will to keep its common finances buoyant for investment purposes. In relative terms, the Belgian contribution would represent 0.91% of its gross national product (GNP): this would be nearly equivalent to the European average (0.90%). The Belgian budgetary contribution would thus rise to €4.36 billion a year (in 2018 prices).

This figure is not however definitive because the budget has an additional cost for Belgium. Until now, Belgium has been able to to keep 20% of the border taxes it collects, which belong to the EU. The European Commission now proposes to reduce this bonus to 10%, which represents a deficit to be made good by Belgium.

Overall, the increase is therefore in the order of €800 million a year for the country.

The Brussels Times

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