August 20, 2011
Who Pays for the European Union?
The financial burden of running Europe is not divided evenly among European countries. This fact makes the upcoming 2012 EU budget negotiations noteworthy even across the Atlantic. Next year, the EU will decide on the exact composition of its budget document for the years 2014-2020 -- how much will be spent on what, and who will shoulder the lion's share of the burden. It is in America's interest to ensure that Britain, the staunchest and most loyal ally to the United States, is not burdened with an unfair share of EU budget contributions. Yet this is exactly what will happen if the U.K. rebate is reduced or abolished. First, some background. When the U.K. joined what was then the European Economic Community in 1973, it was one of the poorest countries in Europe and had a small agricultural sector. Yet its budgetary contributions were disproportionately large, because the EEC's largest spending item, the socialist Common Agricultural Policy (CAP),...(Read Full Article)