Brussels: Since the confirmation of Brexit, a divide has resurfaced between the members of the European Union (EU). Severe differences erupted between the EU members during the bloc’s meeting in Brussels for the finalisation of the budget. The differences prove the emptiness of EU’s claims on all of its members working in unison after the Brexit. At the same time, the EU and its members are believed likely to experience the UK’s absence on various issues soon.
EU has long-term budget for the bloc from 2014 to 2020. It, therefore, becomes imperative to have a new budget and a framework for the period starting from 2021. The EU has tabled the budget with provisions of €1.09 trillion for the 2021-2027 period. The UK’s share is of about €75 billion although the country will not be contributing the amount as it has stepped out of the bloc.
All members of the EU will now have to increase their share towards the bloc because of the budget gap left by the EU’s exit. Therefore, some member of the EU, have demanded downsizing the budget to a certain extent while asking for more allocations for security, weather and digitisation. Austria, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are among those making the demand and have refused to compromise.
On the other hand, the countries gaining maximum benefits from the EU budget have remained persistent on the demand for increased contributions. Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Poland are among the ten nations raising the demand. The countries have taken an adamant stand on allocating a significant portion of the budget for developing cooperation between member nations, farmers and the developing countries. As the budget is required to be passed unanimously, the proposal could not be cleared in Friday’s meeting.
Germany and France have both expressed displeasure over the development in the EU meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned EU members that another meeting was required to be convened to decide on the issue as the differences were extreme. On the other hand, French President Emmanuel Macron retorted over the matter, stating that the UK was not needed anymore to show the differences among the EU members.
The UK formally exited the EU on 31st of January. Some of the foremost leaders of the EU had asserted that they would be taking steps to keep the bloc healthy and united before and after Brexit. Nevertheless, the impasse in the budget meeting underscores the reality exposing differences between the members, which are surfacing more severely after Brexit.