Business & Finance - Monday 21.5.2001

Finlandís payments to EU surprisingly small

Finlandís payments to the European Union and receipts from the union are nearly equal. Over the first six years of membership, from 1995 to 2000, Finland has paid some FIM 757 million more to the EU than it received. In 1996, 1997, and 2000 Finland was a net recipient of funds, and in 1995, 1998, and 1999, a net payer.
The flows of money should now stabilise, as the arrangements during the transition period of the first years of membership have now disappeared. Finland may thus end up as a net payer, but only to a small degree.

These figures
are revealed in the report of a working group that investigated the EU payment flows. Some earlier calculations showed Finland as a significant net payer, but these calculations were misled by the fact that Finland has paid its bills on time, but union money usually arrives late.
A Ministry of Finance official believes that Finland can consider itself lucky if the current level of payments is maintained also throughout the expansion process of the union. In general, the payments to and from the EU have been one of the most fiercely debated matters during Finlandís years in the union.

Helsingin Sanomat

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