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Baltics propose increasing member states’ contributions to EU budget after Brexit

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia invite European Union member states to increase contributions to the EU budget after 2020 in order to make sure available funds do not drop after UK’s exit.

In the letter sent by Baltic States to EU higher-ups, it is mentioned that the three countries would like to see sufficient funds for cohesion policy, agriculture and strategic projects – synchronization of Baltic power lines with Western Europe, Rail Baltica and closure of Ignalinas nuclear power plant.

«We are prepared to discuss ways to maintain the current multi-year funding programmes level after Brexit by means of increasing contributions to the EU budget and, possibly, finding new internal resources,» as mentioned in the letter signed by Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Latvia’s Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and Estonia’s Prime minister Jüri Ratas.

The letter was submitted by Grybauskaitė to European Council President Donald Tusk on Thursday, 15 February.

Lithuania’s president admitted that contributions to the budget will be a politically sensitive matter. She added that Lithuania is prepared to increase its contribution to ensure proper financing of infrastructure and defence projects.

According to her, the EU budget will lose approximately EUR 13 billion from Brexit.

«We notice additional needs in relation to cooperation in defence, electricity, transport and energy sectors – many interconnections among European member states. […] By applying a specific formula, we would voluntarily participate in the formation of EU budget,» added Grybauskaitė.

«Nevertheless, we understand that some countries may experience complication. We do not insist on this,» she admitted.

Tusk did not comment on Baltic States’ proposal to Lithuanian journalists. ‘I have only just received the letter. I need more time to analyse it, but you can depend on me,’ he said, adding that budget talks will be complicated.

«In the context of Brexit, talks about the next EU budget will be an especially major challenge – not just because the departure of the United Kingdom will leave a big hole in funding, but also because the referendum there has proven the necessity to increase efforts towards overcoming the most important challenges – migration, defence and free movement, especially for young people. All of these priorities will require additional finances,» said Tusk.


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