Holland calls for EU budget freeze

The Netherlands believes the European Union’s budget should be frozen at its current level and given a substantial overhaul, the NRC reports on Friday.

In addition, European affairs minister Frans Timmermans wants to see farm subsidies and subsidies for job creation schemes phased out, the paper says.
EU member states are due to hand in their views on the way the EU should spend its money to the European Commission next week. The Commission is working on new proposals to cover the budget for 2013 to 2020. The EU is set to spend some €120bn this year.
The NRC says member states are divided about how the spending plans should be revised. In particular, the rebates enjoyed by the UK and net payers such as the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Denmark have been criticised for making the system unduly complicated .
Timmermans said he would rather not have a discount at all. ‘But if the system which means the Netherlands pays an unfairly large contribution is to remain, then there should be an automatic correction,’ the NRC quoted him as saying.
Earlier this year, Dutch finance minister Wouter Bos refused to approve the EU’s 2006 accounts because of the large number of errors found in them.

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