Press Advisories

24. 10. 2014 23:12

The EU summit debated the supplementary budget; the CR supports compliance with the rules

On Friday 24 October 2014, European leaders discussed the supplementary contribution of funds to the common EU budget at a summit in Brussels. The adjustment statistics released by Eurostat means that the Czech Republic is required to make supplementary financial transfers, but it will also receive certain payments under the amending budget.

The summit, attended by heads of states and governments of the European Union continued for a second day in Brussels, with the CR represented by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. One of the points under the discussion concerned adjustments to the EU budget. Great Britain called attention to the additional contributions that were required of Member States to the common budget this year, Britain itself has to pay an additional 2.1 billion Euro.

Additional payments in favour of the EU are not unusual. On the contrary, they are the result of a procedure that is regularly carried out to refine the estimated economic wealth of the Member States. The reference factor is the amount of gross national income (GNI), which is the basis for contributions to the EU budget. “It is part of a standard procedure, which derives from rules set within the EU. The Czech Republic supports compliance with these rules and the independence of the European statistical office, Eurostat”, was how the Czech Prime Minister commented on this issue.

On the basis of figures released by Eurostat, national statistical offices convert their GNI accounts. Member States which have been richer in recent years than they themselves estimated originally have to make additional contributions to the EU budget. Conversely, countries that are slightly poorer under Eurostat calculations compared to their original estimates will be refunded part of their money from the EU budget. As a result of this statistical adjustment, the Czech Republic will also have to pay an additional approximately 72 million Euro.

“As far as the situation in the CR is concerned, we have two reports, we will in fact have to pay additional funds to the EU budget, but, on the other hand we have been advised of a correction to the EU budget, which will restore financing back to the CR. Our balance should be neutral, or slightly positive, which means that there is no risk of any deviation in the budget balance just before the end of the financial year,” explained Prime Minister Sobotka regarding the situation in the CR.

Besides the revision to the statistical data, the EU budget is also revised each year. This results in proposals for an amended EU budget, which must be approved by the Member States and the European Parliament. These proposals, if they are adopted, also affect the contributions made by Member States, including the CR.

If all the proposed amendments are approved, the impact on the Czech Republic’s contributions to the EU should be neutral or slightly positive. The CR may receive more as a refund that the additional payment referred to above. The overall impact of these adjustments to the EU budget on the CR contributions cannot be determined accurately at present and will depend on an agreement by the Member States at the meetings of the Council for Financial and Economic Affairs, ECOFIN, on 14 November 2014, where the EU budget, including the aforementioned adjustments, will be debated.

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