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News : Irish Last Updated: Dec 19th, 2007 - 13:17:15

Ireland received net income of €1.4 billion from the European Union in 2005 - Per capita income of €350 highest of pre-May 2004 EU15
By Finfacts Team
Sep 22, 2006, 11:01

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Eurozone countries in blue; Rest of EU25 in pink

The European Union budget increased only narrowly in 2005, by 0.01% of EU Gross National Income (GNI), while benefits were shared by all 25 Member States. The biggest Member States got nearly 2/3 of total allocated expenditure, similarly to 2004.

Ireland received net income from the European Union of € 1.4 billion. Receipts from the Common Agricultural Policy amounted to € 1.8 billion. Based on a resident Irish population of 4 million, per capita net income for Ireland was € 350 - the highest in the pre-enlargement EU15.

The 10 new Member States are still gradually catching up; the relative impact of financial transfers, however, is becoming more and more important, reaching 9.5% of the EU total in 2005, compared to 6.6% in 2004. Presenting the main findings of the ”Report on the allocation of 2005 EU expenditure by Member State” Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaité commented: “It was a positive year for the EU budget: execution was higher than in recent years due to better advance planning and enhanced monitoring throughout the year; we managed to focus more resources on EU competitiveness, research, growth and jobs”. Nevertheless, according to Grybauskaité, “amounts for economic progress should be further increased. A profound revision of European finances in 2008/2009 remains a vital necessity”.

The total € 104.8 billion of executed payments in 2005 represented 0.97% of EU GNI. Compared to 2004, the increase in the EU budget is limited – by € 4.7 billion or 4.7%. The largest recipients of funds were the most populous Member States: Spain (with € 14.8 billion), ahead of France (€ 13.6 billion), Germany (€ 12.3 billion), Italy (€ 10.7 billion) and the United Kingdom (€ 8.7 billion).

Spain was also by far the largest recipient of funds for structural actions (nearly 1/4 of the EU total), followed by Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom (with the biggest increase of € 1.2 billion to a total of € 3.4 billion).

Every fifth euro in agricultural expenditure went to France in 2005. France is followed by Germany and Spain (both around 13%), Italy (11.4%) and the UK (9%). Poland took 8th place (3.2%), with a € 1.2 billion increase in agricultural expenditure, to € 1.5 billion.

Generally, the countries that joined the EU in 2004 registered an increase in allocated expenditure from € 6.1 billion in 2004 to € 9.1 billion in 2005, or 9.5% of the EU total. Poland became the 8th largest recipient of all European expenditure (up from 10th place last year), while Hungary jumped into 15th place, followed by the Czech Republic in the 18th position.

“All new Member States received more money from the EU budget in 2005 than they did last year. They all have the possibility to do better this year, especially in cohesion policy. In 2007, for the first time, money not spent by the new Member States will be de-committed under the ‘n+2 rule’” – underlined Dalia Grybauskaité, Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget. This means that if money available for Member States from structural funds is still unspent after two years, it is automatically cancelled.

Luxembourg retained its first position as the biggest recipient in relative terms (% of GNI) with the total allocation of expenditure corresponding to 4.5% of its GNI – of which 4.0% is due to administrative payments for EU institutions on its territory. With total allocation of expenditure corresponding to 3.29% of its GNI, Lithuania became the leader among the 14 EU cohesion countries (3rd place last year), followed by Greece (3.15% of GNI).

As in 2004, the four biggest Member States were the largest contributors to the EU budget in absolute terms. Germany, France, Italy and the UK financed nearly 2/3 of the total. Summing up, national contributions (comprising VAT- and GNI-based contributions) reached € 86.75 billion in 2005, being the main source of revenue for the EU budget. The rest came from traditional own resources collected by the Member States in the name of the Union (customs duties and agricultural and sugar levies, € 14 billion in 2005), other revenues (€ 3 billion), the surplus from 2004 (€ 2.7 billion) and the surplus from the external aid guarantee fund (€ 0.5 billion).

© Copyright 2007 by Finfacts.com

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