EU Commission Calls for Additional €66 Billion from Member States for Ukraine, Migration, and Competitiveness

news 21-Jun-2023 Europe

EU Commission calls for more funds from member states

The EU Commission has called on member states to provide an additional €66 billion. The majority of the funds are intended for Ukraine aid, but migration and competition are also among the areas targeted.

According to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's mid-term review of the budget, the EU needs more money as the situation is vastly different now in 2021 than when the EU agreed on a common financial framework of €1.1 trillion for 2021-2027. The commission is now asking the 27 member states for an additional €66 billion.

€50 billion for Ukraine

The proposal is only based on necessary requirements. The Ukraine is to be supported with €50 billion in total. This includes both loans and grants that do not need to be repaid.

The second priority is strengthening the competitiveness of the European economy. For example, funds are to be increased to promote green technologies.

Cooperation with third countries

The third priority area is asylum and migration policy, says von der Leyen. "Today's major challenges associated with migration require effective and rapid responses. We must support our member countries, who have a particular responsibility at the external borders."

It is also important to cooperate more closely with third countries, and additional funds are needed for Syrian refugees in Syria, Lebanon or Turkey. "And we need funds to respond to humanitarian crises and natural disasters." €15 billion is required for this.

EU member states must help

In addition, there are still unpredictable risks in the balance sheets, such as the interest on €338 billion in EU debt that Brussels has taken on as part of the Corona aid. The EU Commission has already exceeded the limits of what it can finance within the budget, says EU budget commissioner Johannes Hahn.

Therefore, the member states must now help, even though Hahn understands that many countries are currently having to save on their own budgets. "But we also need to consolidate our finances. And what we are proposing are things that the member states also demand from us, where now more responsibility is being demanded from them."

If EU member states want to continue refugee aid in Turkey or if the EU wants to help in African countries, it cannot be done without costs.

Lindner sees no need

However, many member states reject such additional payments. Even Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) sees no need for them. It remains unclear how the 27 heads of state and government will position themselves on this issue at their summit next week.

If no agreement is reached by early December, there may be no adjustments in the EU budget until at least 2024.

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