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EU BUDGET : ANNUAL SURPLUS CONTINUES TO FALL.

For six years, the EU's annual budget surplus has continued to fall, decreasing from a peak of 15.003 million in 2001 to 1.529 million in 2007. Therefore, last year, member states' contributions almost exactly matched the agreed spending for the year, says the European Commission which adopted, on 15 April, its decision establishing this surplus. This surplus fell by 90% from 2000 and by 17% from 2006.

The end-of-year surplus - ie the difference between all EU budget revenue and spending - amounted to only just over 1% (1,529 million) of the total 113.846 billion agreed spending for 2007. To explain this situation, EU Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite notes that "effective forward planning, less red tape and good budgetary management made it easier to get new programmes rolling faster in 2007, helping member states direct EU cash to where agreed needs lie". It is also the effect of the financial management reforms introduced over the past years. Crucial to the level of the surplus is the implementation of voted budget payments as they make up most of the EU's spending. Even though the year 2007 was the first year of a new financial framework, the implementation rate of payments still reached 99%, contributing, among other things, to a record low surplus.

The surplus is returned to member states, on the basis of gross national income (GNI). These repayments span from 300 million for Germany to 2 million for Estonia.

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Title Annotation:European Union
Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 16, 2008
Words:241
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