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German newspaper Die Welt, citing Government calculations, said the country would have to pay an additional €13 billion (£11.7 billion) more per year than it currently does. Berlin currently contributes around €31 billion (£27.8 billion) a year to the EU budget, with the latest budget seeing the country’s contribution rising to €44 billion (£39.5 billion). The budget, which covers EU finances for the seven years from 2021 through 2027, has ignited into a war of words over recent weeks around how much each member state should contribute to the financial pot.
Die Welt has reported the latest proposals from Brussels wants member states to pay around 1.075 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) into the budget.
This is based on GDP for 2018 and means total contributions would surge in total to a massive €1.1 trillion (£1 trillion).
The newspaper report was based on figures provided in response to a request from Gerald Ullrich, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) chairman in the Committee on EU Affairs in the Bundestag German parliament.
But the report also stated the federal government’s figures are indicative, with details of the European Commission’s proposal still missing in order to calculate the exact contribution from Germany.
The response from the federal government said it can’t yet say how much Germany would have to pay into the budget in the future as the Commission’s proposal lacked important information on this.
In light of the much higher contribution from Germany, Mr Ullrich has called for the EU budget to be modernised.
He wants more money to be made available for digitisation, research, Erasmus exchange, external border protection and climate protection.
EU leaders will hold a video conference call on Friday to discuss the Commission’s latest budget proposal.
They will also look at the €750 billion coronavirus bailout package that is set to fall under the umbrella of the bloc’s next seven-year budget.
Last month, France and Germany proposed a €500 billion Recovery Fund that would provide grants to EU regions and sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through the continent.
The countries with the two biggest economies in the EU proposed the Commission borrow the money on behalf of the whole bloc and spend it as an additional top-up to the 2021-2027 EU budget.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the money should be paid back over a lengthy period and that Berlin would contribute 27 percent of the funds – the same proportion it currently contributes towards the EU budget.
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French President Emmanuel Macron said: “That’s a real change in philosophy.
“I believe this is a very deep transformation and that’s what the European Union and the single market needed to remain coherent.
“It’s what the eurozone needs to remain united.”
France and Germany have not said if that would lead to higher contributions from countries based on the size of their respective economies, taxes that could be earmarked for the EU, or even a combination of both.
But the proposal of offering grants rather than loans came under immediate attack from several of the frugal northern countries in the 27-nation bloc.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz warned on Twitter: “Our position remains unchanged. We are ready to help most affected countries with loans.
“We expect the updated (EU budget) to reflect the new priorities rather than raising the ceiling.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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