The EU must not pass on its bills to our taxpayers

7 November 2019

The European Union states - rightly so - that the Member States must get their budgets under control, but at the same time it also wants to see its own EU budget increase. “It would be better if the EU were to set the right example, and not constantly ask for more money,” the N-VA says, following a debate about the European budget in the Chamber of Representatives.

A different tune

Every year, the European Commission evaluates the budgets of the Member States and every year there is the legitimate comment that they need to be brought under control. But when it comes to its own budget, the N-VA hears a different tune coming from the EU. “Then it is always in need of extra money, then it is always a case of more, more, more. Certainly now that Brexit is going to lead to a budgetary hole of 12 billion euros.”

Extra half billion

In this way, the European Commission has come up with a proposal to increase the contributions from the Member States to 1.1% of GNI, while the European Parliament wants to go as high as 1.3%. For Belgium that means at least an extra half billion euros, over and above the budget deficit that we already have.

Using resources more wisely

“Naturally, the EU must invest a great deal more in matters such as migration, security and innovation, but it is also possible to do this without increasing the global budget. We can also move things around within the budget. Countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have understood that fully. They are of the opinion that Member States must not pay more, but that the EU must spend its resources more wisely. Belgium should support that group, instead of being one step behind Southern Europe,” the N-VA emphasises.

New form of feudalism

In her reaction, Prime Minister Wilmès pointed to European investments in agricultural policy. In this regard, the N-VA referred to an eye-opening article published last weekend in the New York Times. “The Prime Minister’s example seems to me to be misplaced. There is considered to be a great deal of fraud in how European agricultural policy is applied,” the N-VA says. “Gigantic European subsidies are not ending up in the hands of ordinary farmers. There are allegations of much corruption and self-serving. The New York Times even talks of a new form of feudalism.”

Investing in our own farmers

In its argument, the N-VA made the link between the European agricultural policy and the Belgian contribution to the EU. “Every year, 700 million euros of our Belgian tax revenues go to, among others, Eastern European oligarchs. This has to stop. On the contrary, the N-VA wants to invest more resources in our own farmers.”

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