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FinMin: Cyprus opposed to significant increase in EU budget ceiling

22/10/2019 16:48

Cyprus is not in favour of a significant increase in the ceiling of the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) after 2020, as it is expected that it will become a net contributor to the European budget, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told MPs on Tuesday.
At the same time, he made it clear that Cyprus was not opposed to a small increase in the budget, but said that he was against the introduction of a new package of own resources of the European budget, which provide the EU`s main revenue, especially own resources that would be based on the common consolidated corporate tax base.
Georgiades explained to the Foreign and European Affairs Parliamentary Committee that currently there are three different approaches with regard to the EU’s budget. The first one expressed by member states who are contributors favours maintaining the budget at 1% of the EU27 Gross National Income (GNI), whereas the second one is the European Commission’s proposal to raise it to 1.11% of GNI and the third one put forward by the European Parliament favours an increase of the MFF to 1.3% of GNI.
The European Commission’s proposal for the 2021-2027 MFF amounts to €1.134.583 million, while the European Parliament proposes €1.324.089 million.
Cyprus was not in favour of a significant increase in the European budget, the Minister said, but added that the country was not opposed to some increase of the budget, as it was a matter of time for Cyprus to become a net contributor. In the previous years, he explained, Cyprus was neither a net contributor nor a net beneficiary. Moreover, he said that the last increase supported by Cyprus was 1.08%.
He also noted that Cyprus did not support the introduction of additional own resources but has agreed with some of the Commission’s proposals for some own resources of a small scale that were related to recyclable material and stressed that Cyprus objected to the introduction of a financial transaction tax as a type of own resource.