Germany Leads

Not just in the production of reigning Popes, but also, according to according to a report from the Commission, in subsidies. (As reported in a German newspaper whose website really could be better organized.)

Germany spend ?16.5 billion on subsidies in 2003, the latest year for which statistics are available, nearly one-third of the EU-15 total of ?53 billion. Part of the lead is the natural result of Germany having the largest economy in the EU. The next closest subsidizers are France (?9 billion) and Italy (?7 billion). The EU’s fourth G7 economy, the UK, spent ?4.2 billion, a share of GDP that was less than half the Union average.

As a share of GDP, Finland leads (1.41%), followed by Portugal (1.24%), Germany (0.77%) and Ireland (0.69%).

This was also interesting: “Of the ?9.7 bn of aid (in cases for which the aid amount is known) declared illegal by the Commission and due to be recovered under decisions adopted since 2000, some ?6.7 bn (including interest) had been effectively recovered by the end of 2004. Four Member States (Germany, Spain, Italy and France) account for more than 90% of the pending recovery cases.”

The new members were assessed separately earlier in the year. They were also assessed somewhat differently (transition to a market economy and all that), although interestingly the top two subsidizers in GDP terms were not post-Communist countries but Malta (3.9%) and Cyprus (2.9%).

Germany trails, however, in economic growth. Alas.

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Germany and tagged , by Doug Merrill. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

7 thoughts on “Germany Leads

  1. In terms of the percentages of national GDP paid in promotion of horizontal objectives, the UK comes in at bottom of the league table for EU (15). I’m not quite sure quite what political message that ought to convey but it doesn’t seem to have unduly affected the UK’s economic performance compared with that of the Eurozone. The rates of unemployment and inflation have been running lower in the UK and GDP growth higher.

  2. Bob B: [trailing the state aid list] doesn?t seem to have unduly affected the UK?s economic performance compared with that of the Eurozone.

    Nor does being the largest subsidiser (in % of GDP) seem to have affected Finland’s performance.

  3. Isn’t Finland’s performance hugely dependent on the continuing success of Nokia’s innovative mobile telephone handsets, which account for a significant proportion of Finland’s entire economy?

  4. The UK receives a rather large subsidy in the form of its rebate on EU contributions. Figuring that back into the picture, the caption that suggests itself reads differently.

  5. Dear Jorg,

    Try this recent news brief on the rebate on Britain’s net budgetary contribution to the EU:

    Among the points it makes:

    “The UK says the rebate is non-negotiable because Britain is still the second biggest contributor to EU coffers out of 25 member states and officials insist it is not the second biggest economy. They also point out that between 1995 and 2003 Britain paid more in per person than France and Italy.”

    However, Doug Merrill’s original post was about stateaids paid by national governments, not about net budgetary contributions to the EU and the fact is that Britain is at the bottom of the EU stateaids league table. It also happens to be true that Britain’s economy outside the Eurozone has been comfortably out-performing the Eurozone economy – as some of us thought it would for very familiar reasons.

  6. For the record, the chart here – from an Irish source – is the most illuminating presentation I’ve been able to find of EU(15) member state net cash contributions to the EU Budget in 2003 per head of national populations:

    By the chart, Luxembourg was the biggest net contributor per head of population, followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and the UK. The greatest beneficiary per head of population was Ireland, which is curious as Ireland has one of the highest amounts of GDP per head among EU member states.

    Btw from a EU Commission estimate: “The UK?s net contribution to the EU budget in 2004 is forecast by the British Government to be some ?4.1 billion, compared with ?3.6 billion in 2003.”

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