Unsolvable problem of EU
On February 20, EU leaders participated in a conference in Brussels (Belgium) to discuss the budget for the period 2021-2027, with immediate issues such as the contribution gap of up to 75 billion euros. the departure of the UK and the need to fund the European Green Deal initiatives totaling up to 1,000 billion euros. Traditionally, EU leaders have always needed two high-level conferences to decide the long-term financial framework (MFF), after conducting difficult negotiations every seven years. However, the disagreement took place at a high-level conference on February 20 in Belgium to decide the budget over the seven-year period of the bloc after the UK made a “historic divorce” from the EU (Brexit). .
Accordingly, this EU Summit has been heated by debates and disagreements between EU member states as well as between the European Commission (EC) and the European Parliament (EP) on budgetary issues. . Concerns and controversy of EU members mainly revolved around issues such as sharing of financial responsibility left by the UK; in the coming time, how much should the bloc’s budget need, how to adjust budget spending on priority issues and what percentage of each member country should contribute to its GDP. The Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and Denmark propose the contribution of the member states to 1% of gross domestic product (GDP). Germany, the leading EU country, accepted the higher level of 1%, but less than 1.07% of GDP. However, France criticized the contribution of the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Germany as low. The EC proposed contributing 1.1% of GDP and the EP proposed a much higher contribution, up to 1.3% of GDP.
EU countries also disagree about the return budget for some of the richer countries in the bloc. Countries that are considered to be richer, such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Germany, want to tighten their budgets and keep their refunds. Meanwhile, countries in eastern and southern Europe want to increase the portion of their refunds to upgrade their infrastructure to balance the wealthy members of the union. France, Spain and Poland want to keep subsidies to farmers …
Not only do member countries disagree on the level of contributions and reimbursement budgets, EU policy-making bodies also contradict the budget plan. While the European Parliament wants to increase its long-term financial framework to € 1,320 billion, the European Commission wants to keep MFF at 1,130 billion euros. Meanwhile, to facilitate negotiations, the President of the European Council proposed a total budget of 1,095 billion euros for a seven-year period, lower than the EC’s initial proposal.
With the above disagreements, the European media said that the EU may need one or two more conferences to be able to find a solution to the “budget problem” of the bloc. As expected by German Prime Minister A. Merkel recently, the long-term budget framework negotiations at the first high-level meeting after Brexit will be “very difficult and complicated”.
In fact, with the UK leaving the “common European home”, the EU is having a hard time balancing traditional policies. In addition, the budget discussion of “nowhere” on February 20 also shows that, although the Brexit process has ended, economic crises and migration have calmed down, but within the EU. serious disagreements and divisions still exist and this could prevent the EU from strengthening its position in the future.