A rough roadmap for the European Union’s budget talks has been set by Brussels’ chief Budget Commissioner Gunther Oettinger as the bloc struggles to plug the £8.8billion (€10billion) black hole left by Brexit in 2019.
The European Commission is understood to be considering cancelling the Structural Funds for Germany and other relatively wealthy member states in a bid to save billions of euros.
But Mr Oettinger is also said to considering raising contributions for the remaining EU27.
With several Member States rejecting the call to pay more, the EU Budget Commissioner estimates the additional amount for Germany will be between £2.6billion and £3billion (€3billion to €3.5billion) per year.
Angel Merkel is currently battling what a top economist has described as the brink of “political chaos” after a disastrous election left her Christian Democrats party without a majority.
Ms Merkel, who has previously criticised EU spending, was yesterday forced to consider paying more into the Brussels budget in an attempt to save her government.
The German Chancellor is attempting to thrash out a grand coalition with the very pro-EU Social Democrats (SPD).
Ms Merkel yesterday blasted the EU’s budget structure as she added that Brexit offered the opportunity to rethink how Brussels spends its money.
The German chancellor said: ”We need a new beginning for Europe.
”When redistributing Structural Funds, we need to make sure that the distributional criteria reflect the involvement of many regions and communities in receiving refugees… solidarity can not be a one-way street in the EU.”
Germany may have to fork out for a third of Brexit black hole in the EU Budget
Member states that could face paying more into the EU budget after Brexit include Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Denmark and Finland.
A position paper by the Dutch government said “the Netherlands could not accept an increase in its gross contribution.”
Meanwhile Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz also made it clear to Mr Oettinger that Vienna would not pay any more.
Despite this Mr Oettinger has insisted he does not want to cut the overall budget significantly.
He argues that new tasks like migration, border management, defence and more investment have to be financed.
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The bulk of the EU budget is still being spent on grants to farmers and structural aid for poorer regions of the EU.
Another report suggests the EU could save £886million (€100billion) over the next seven-year financial period from 2021 to 2028 if ended subsidies to countries with a per capita income above the EU average – which could also be a nightmare for Ms Merkel’s wealthy Germany.
Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) city of Wuppertal has received considerable cash from the bloc in recent years and is budgeted to get eight billion euros from the EU, during the funding period 2014 to 2021.
And according to expert calculations, a 15 percent reduction in structural funding would mean Germany would be excluded from all funding programmes.
The informal summit of the 27 EU member states without the UK on Friday is a starting point for a chain of negotiations that will lead to a budget in mid-2019.
Ms Merkel, who has previously criticised EU spending, has forced to consider paying more to Brussels
Usually with EU Member States haggle for a trillion euros every seven year but with the UK departure in the 2019 the EU27 needs to decide on how to plug the funding hole.
The medium-term EU budget framework must then also be approved by the European Parliament, which has an equal say regarding budgetary matters.
The budget must be unanimously approved by the heads of state and government. This allows any state, even a small one, to veto if its interests are not taken into account. In the past, Poland and the UK in particular have stood out in blocking budget negotiations.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.