Open Europe Blog

We’ve got our hands on a leaked copy of the latest HermanVan Rompuy (HvR) proposal for the EU budget (see here for the full doc). The headline spending figure remains broadly unchanged in the new proposal, standing at €1,014bn (a €4bn increase), but more cash is spent on farm subsidies and structural funds, in a move designed to appease France, Poland, Italy and Spain.

(The figures here includes off budget items, if they are discounted the second proposal is actuall a decrease, from €973bn to €972bn. This is mostly due to items which weren’t off budget in the original proposal, being off budget in the second version).

No figure is given for payments appropriations – the figure that the UK government is targeting – but given that this figure has widely been cited to be €940bn, it’s likely that it’ll have to come down more if acceptable to the UK (with the government’s initial proposal at €886bn).

Also, just like with the previous draft, the latest HvR proposal foresees cuts to the UK rebate – which is a non-starter for Britain.  As a refresher (from our recent flash analysis):

“The proposal also includes an adjustment in the way in which the UK rebate is calculated. This could result in the UK rebate falling by as much as 11% or €3.5bn across the next budget period, solely due to this adjustment.

The plan also suggests that ‘corrections’ such as the UK rebate will be “fully financed by all member states”. It’s not entirely clear what this means, but it does suggest that the UK could actually be responsible for funding part of its own rebate. If this were the case then the rebate could be reduced by a further €3.316bn, cutting the rebate by a further 11.5%, and 21% (€6.8bn) from its original amount.”

The increased spending on CAP and Cohesion moves further away from the spending split which many in the UK would like to see (more growth focused) while although the headline figure has not increased it is still probably slightly too high. See table below for the full break down (click to enlarge):
So, despite talk of progress last night, it still seems that, from a UK perspective (but also likely a Swedish, Dutch and German one) there are some significant divisions.
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