EU budget negotiations, which kick off this week, are about three things: the size of the overall pot of money; which countries will pay into that pot; and which countries will get money out of it.
For those following the debate, here is your cut-out-and-keep Excel guide to those questions, plucked from 2009, the latest year for which figures have been compiled.
Over 70 per cent of the EU’s money comes from five countries: Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, in that order. But most of the money comes back to them, too. France (with its EU farm subsidies) gets the biggest amount back, followed by Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland (with its farmers and its roads funded by EU development funds).
As the debate gets underway for the next seven-year budget framework, we thought we’d crunch the numbers to establish who the biggest winners and losers are. (Check out the outcomes for all 27 countries in this spreadsheet) Read more
Cameron and Barroso last week at Downing Street, where they discussed the EU budget
Amid all the hand-wringing about the Greek parliamentary vote on the key €28b austerity package this afternoon in Athens, the European Commission will meet to give its final assent to its proposed EU budget for the next seven-year cycle, normally the most-watched event on the Brussels agenda.
Much of the outlines of the budget have already been reported on the pages of the FT, but many will be watching the top line: just how much will the Commission, which, as the EU’s executive branch, has the responsibility for kicking off the 18-month negotiations, propose member countries should contribute to Brussels’ budget?
This will be a big question for David Cameron, British prime minister, who has made cutting down on Brussels’ spending the centre of his Europe strategy. For reference sake, after the jump we are re-publishing a letter Cameron got his French and German counterparts to sign calling for an effective freeze on the seven-year budget plan, known as the mutli-annual financial framework in eurocrat-ese. Read more