Saturday, December 04, 2021
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EU budget: Who pays most in and who gets most back?

With the European elections concluded, one of the big challenges facing the European Union (EU) will be agreeing its next budget.

Every seven years, the EU agrees a long-term spending plan. All EU leaders have to agree on it unanimously, so the negotiations usually take a long time.

The last seven-year plan was agreed in 2013, for the period 2014-20. And, for the first time in the history of the organisation, it decided to cut real-terms spending.

On the basis of the long-term plan, every year the representatives of the 28 governments and the European Parliament agree the precise details of the EU annual budget,

We examined the latest, 2017, budget to find out how much each of the EU countries contributed and received from the EU.

The UK is a net contributor to the EU budget. In other words, it contributes more to the EU budget than it receives back from it.

In 2017, another nine countries were also net contributors:

  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Ireland

Germany, with a net contribution of €12.8bn, was the largest contributor, followed by the UK, with €7.43bn (£6.55bn).


EU budget 2017: Net contributions/receipts

Source: European Commission

Each country pays the same proportion of its national income to the EU budget, so richer countries pay more and poorer ones less.

The EU also takes 75% of the customs duties, agricultural duties and sugar levies collected by each member state when goods enter the customs union.

source: BBC

image credit: Getty

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