High game in Brussels today, with EU President Charles Michel as the main character. Michel wants to reduce the discount for the Netherlands and other net contributors (the countries that spend more on the EU than get it back) in the coming years.
They are the preliminary shelling for next Thursday’s negotiations. Then there is an additional summit of government leaders on the EU budget for the period 2021 – 2027.
The first shelling looks unfavorable for the Netherlands. For example, The Hague does not want the rebates to be affected and the new budget may not exceed 1 percent of the gross national product of all EU countries combined. While the European Commission proposes 1.11 percent and the European Parliament even bets on 1.3 percent.
Michel is looking for a middle ground with a proposal of 1.07 percent. Because if it’s up to him, all parties will come closer together, preferably on Thursday. Heads of government are only allowed to leave when a signature has been signed, the EU president said today.
According to correspondent Sander van Hoorn, such a quick agreement is anything but a certainty. Traditionally, the dividing lines in the EU are most clearly visible during the budget negotiations.
“Everyone puts things in focus. The Netherlands, together with Sweden, Austria and Denmark, for example, belong to what they call ‘the stingy four’. Or the countries that do not want to spend more money on the EU. On the other hand, the countries are who prefer, for example, to completely cancel the discounts. “
In addition, the current negotiations are extra complex due to the Brexit. Van Hoorn: “Great Britain was the largest net contributor in the EU. It must therefore be decided how the lost income will be collected.”