Foreign - Tuesday 10.2.2004

Finland's net payments to the EU to triple in coming years

According to the calculations of the Ministry of Finance, Finland's net payments to the EU will more than triple from the current level by 2006.
In 2004, Finland will be a net payer of some 122 million euros to the union. However, by Finland's next Presidency in 2006, the net payments could total 400 million.
Each Finn will pay some 23 euros this year for the country's membership in the union. In comparison, each citizen will pay 105 euros for development cooperation this year.
Finland's payments will probably grow even further during the years 2007-2013, as the European Commission is due to propose additional payments to cover the costs of enlargement.
The talks on the member states' future payments begin today. The Commission will most likely propose that member states pay 1.24 percent of their GDP to the union. The same limit already exists, but in practice EU members have paid around one percent of their GDP to the union's coffers.
Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen is due to comment on the price tag of EU membership on Wednesday, which should start off the national discussion.

Helsingin Sanomat

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