As the wrangling over the European Union budget hots up, some member states are getting tetchy about their contributions. Germany, France, Italy and the UK bear the brunt of the net costs. The UK is well known for regarding its payments as excessive, and some other high-paying countries are now joining in with the complaints.
At the other end of the scale, the biggest gainer under the current budget arrangements is clearly Poland. On a per-head basis, Luxembourg does extremely well out of the system – but its net gain includes the funding costs for various EU institutions, and so its apparent extravagance is perhaps misleading. Greece and Hungary also do pretty well. On a per-head basis, Lithuania and Latvia have reason to be cheerful. Most of the recent accession states do pretty well out of the current arrangement. Read more