The five-member states with deeper pockets, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Austria pay out about half of net payments to the EU budget in 2020, rising to three-quarters by the end of 2027. In a position paper seen by the Financial Times, the frugal states warn, “placing an ever-increasing financial burden on a small number of member states will not be acceptable to our citizens”. This comes in light of the economic fall-out from Brexit, that will cause the richest member states to be straddled with an increase in the share of financing for the EU budget to rise disproportionately.
Wopke Hoekstra, Dutch finance minister, said the government would nor accept a proposal where the largest net payers footed the bill for Brexit and lost their rebates.
Me Hoekstra told the FT: ”There is no justification, it is not reasonable and the proposal as it now stands is simply one we cannot accept.”
But their opponents, ranging from France and Spain to Poland and Lithuania, argue that rebates for prosperous EU states can no longer be justified.
This news comes as Germany is facing up to a drastic loss of influence in Brussels even though the country’s Ursula von der Leyen has now formally taken over the European Commission presidency from Jean-Claude Juncker.
Ms von der Leyen’s elevation means Berlin no longer has a working commissioner while Angela Merkel’s former defence secretary and the first woman to run the commission and the first German to do so in 50 years is already under intense pressure to be perceived as a neutral.