Statement Prime Minister Rutte about the European Commission's proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework

The European Commission presented a proposal today outlining plans for the EU budget – or Multiannual Financial Framework – for the period 2021 to 2027.

As far as the Netherlands is concerned, this proposal is not an acceptable outcome.

The Netherlands sees the Commission’s proposal as leaving the Netherlands paying too high a share of the bill. This also affects other countries. A smaller EU as a result of Brexit should also mean a smaller budget. That entails making clearer choices and spending less.

Under the proposal, the costs of funding the budget are not shared fairly. Brexit is already set to hit the Netherlands’ economy hard. This MFF proposal imposes a disproportionately high bill on top of that. The Commission recognises that the countries that bear the heaviest burden deserve compensation. But it only offers a temporary solution in the form of rebates that are phased out over time. This is not solution for the underlying problem of the unfair distribution of costs. The Netherlands therefore rejects it.

The Commission does set out preliminary plans for the necessary modernisation of the budget. The Netherlands views this as a first step, but considerably more ambition needs to be shown. We need more innovation and less tradition.

In the negotiations the Netherlands will push for a modern budget, in which costs are shared fairly. There is still a lot of negotiating ahead of us.

EU countries will decide by 2020 at the latest how much money will be available and what it will be spent on.