Slovenia Says EU’s Brexit Budget Must Maintain Cohesion Funding

By , 28 Apr 2018, 09:38 AM News
Banksy Does Brexit (detail) Banksy Does Brexit (detail) Flickr - Duncan Hull CC by 2.0

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STA, 27 April 2018 - A government delegation led by Finance Minister Mateja Vraničar Erman met European Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger today to argue for a cautious, gradual approach in a potential reduction of cohesion funds in the EU and for the preservation of a strong policy of rural development. 

The working lunch, held at Brdo pri Kranju, focused on the soon to be released new EU multi-year budgetary framework, which will be marked by the loss of funds caused by Britain's departure and the need to redirect some funding to new challenges.

Cohesion policy, one of the major budget elements, is also expected to be affected as a result.

Vraničar Erman repeated today that while Slovenia is in favour of increasing funding for migration and security, it is also in favour of preserving the key role of cohesion policy in the EU budget, of a strong agricultural policy as well as a strong rural development policy by keeping the nominal amount of funds in tact.

Thus Slovenia is in favour of a gradual approach to potential cuts in cohesion funding, since these funds are a very signifiant source of development for many newer member states which are still lagging behind the average development level in the bloc, including Slovenia.

"There must be no drastic cuts in the financing," minister Mateja Vraničar Erman asserted as Slovenia will probably already have to content itself with a small piece of the cohesion pie as a result of past progress as it is.

As regards the structure of revenues from the EU budget, Slovenia wishes to preserve the traditional old resources, such a revenue from customs, and resources calculated on the basis of GNP, as well for the termination of the rebates system. It also in favour of strapping the resources based on VAT.

According to the Finance Ministry, Commissioner Oettinger stressed his visit to Slovenia comes at the right time, since the Commission is still holding an intensive debate on the content of the draft proposal for the budgetary framework.

He said the Commission will propose raising funding for key challenges, such as development, defence and migration, as well as for the Erasmus programme, while it will also be careful not to cut too deeply into cohesion policy and CAP.

As to revenue, the Commission is to strive for diversification via the introduction of new sources that can be agreed on quickly, the commissioner announced.

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