EU budget rules too complicated, says Dutch finance minister


The European Union’s budgetary rules have become too complicated and must be changed, Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in an interview with Trouw on Tuesday.

Dijsselbloem, who also chairs the influential Euro group told the paper: ‘the budgetary rules have become too complicated, even for our civil servants. They don’t know what we are supposed to do in the current set-up’.

This, the minister said, has to change. ‘And the indicators – should we focus on debt, spending or deficit – will also change, I am convinced.’

The government is due to present its 2017 spending plans to parliament next Tuesday but Dijsselbloem said he had no idea if they would be approved by Brussels.

‘I really don’t know if the European Commission will accept them,’ he said. ‘We hope they will… but it is so complicated. And if I don’t understand them, I certainly can’t explain to Trouw readers why the rules are the way they are.’

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