Finland, together with the “skewer quartet”, is pushing for a reduction in direct subsidies in the EU’s stimulus package. In the worst case, Finland will end up reducing the money it would receive from the EU itself.
EU member states seem to be divided into two camps in the money talks, which are now taking place for the third day in Brussels.
The majority of member states took over the presidency of the european council on saturday Charles Michelin behind the compromise proposal made by the Commission, but the so-called “skimpy quartet” is still
The quartet of the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden calls for further reductions in direct payments in the EU’s stimulus package. According to the latest data, countries are calling for the stimulus package to be shrunk from € 750 billion to € 700 billion, with grants of € 350 billion and loans of € 350 billion.
Like the Quartet, Finland does not require membership fee refunds to the EU budget, but in terms of the amount of grants, the goals of Finland and the Quartet are the same. However, supporting the Quartet’s goals may not ultimately be in Finland’s interests, Ilta-Sanomat evaluated by the researchers interviewed.
EU Commission the proposal would distribute EUR 310 billion in direct grants through the Recovery Fund and EUR 190 billion through the EU budget. The remaining 250 billion would be loans.
Germany and France are not directly opposed to cutting subsidies, but they would make the cuts specifically through the EU budget. Political Economy Researcher Antti Ronkainen According to the Commission, cutting direct subsidies could then mean, for example, a reduction in Finnish agricultural subsidies.
– This means that even if the skimpy four get cut subsidies of 100 billion euros, the recovery fund can still remain at the proposed level, he says.
– If 100 billion in direct grants are cut through the budget, Finland may lose, for example, agricultural subsidies and research funding.
Ronkainen describes such an outcome as “Pyrrhos’ victory ”. The term describes a profit for which a heavy price must be paid and which can be even more detrimental to the winner than to the victim.
– Finland manages to reduce the money it would receive, Ronkainen says.
European politics University researcher Timo Miettinen states that in the worst case scenario, “Finland will shoot itself in the foot”.
– If the first cuts are research funding and rural development money, then reducing direct subsidies may mean development in which Finland shoots itself in the foot.
Miettinen emphasizes that not only the size of the stimulus package is important for Finland, but also what direct grants are used for.
– The first cuts, if direct grants are to be reduced, seem to be the ones that would be funded through EU programs. These include research money and rural development money.
Ronkainen and Miettinen both say they understand why Finland is pushing for a reduction in direct subsidies in the recovery package with the four.
– Some of the demands of strict countries are justified in themselves. For example, the idea of making sure where the money is spent makes perfect sense, Miettinen says.
Finland and the countries in the fluff quartet are net contributors to the EU. In practice, the aim of the countries is to curb income transfers from the north to the south through the recovery fund.
– Success here must be assessed through whether subsidies are reduced through the recovery fund or the budget, Ronkainen says.