Poland to receive bigger slice of smaller EU cake
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's prime minister said Friday was the happiest day of his life after it was announced the country would receive 105.8 billion euros over seven years from the new EU budget.
PM Tusk picks at a cake made of edible bank notes after the summit in Brussels: photo - PAP/Leszek Szymanski
After EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy announced that national leaders had come to agreement on the EU budget for 2014 – 20 late on Friday afternoon, it emerged that Poland would receive 72 billion euros in 'cohesion funds' – to be used on infrastructure and other projects – and 28.5 billion euros from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said after the summit broke up.
He said that though the overall budget for 2014 – 20 saw a cut of 38 billion euros in real terms compared to the previous seven year period, Poland would be receiving 4 billion euros more.
"We received 102 billion euros for the 2007-2013 period and now we are to get 106 billion euros," he said after the marathon talks, which began on Thursday afternoon.
From 2020, Poland is expected to be a net payer to the EU budget - and not its largest recipient, as it is now - after its economy catches up with richer member states.
Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski said on Friday evening that the 2014 – 20 budget was “the last great opportunity to accelerate development and reduce the gap with more developed countries.”
“But we have to be disciplined in not spending money on consumption, but on pro-development projects,” President Komorowski added.
The new EU budget, which is being seen as a success for the UK and other nations that wanted a cut to overall spending in the 27-nation bloc will now have to be approved by the European Parliament, with several members already saying they would bloc the deal. (pg)