The first post-Brexit European Union (EU) budget plan is causing tension between the region have’s and have-nots. The 2021-2027 EU budget was revealed on Wednesday by Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. The financial hole left by the exit of the UK is a big gap to fill and the new budget reflects that shortfall. The hole will work out to be a deficit of €12-14bn annually, which will need to be made up through a combination of increased demands on other member nations, as well as cuts in spending elsewhere.
The current 2014-2020 budget accounts for approximately 1% of the 28-member county’s total gross national income (GNI). The new budget will clock in at about €1tn (£879bn; $1.2tn). This represents an increase of about .1% of total GNI, which equates to approximately €1.28tn spread over the seven years of the budget period.
The new budget proposal is far from a done deal. Politicians and economists are preparing for months of debate leading up to the vote to approve the new plan. Under EU rules, all member countries must approve the proposal with a unanimous vote. The EU budget officials will aim to have the plan approved prior to next May’s European Parliament elections. Other hot-button issues will surely be brought into the battle over the budget to use as leverage. Included among these issues is the debate over the EU’s obligation to take in fleeing refugees and anger that some countries are pulling more than their fair share of the weight.