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Netherlands to battle for lower EU budget

English.news.cn   2012-11-22 18:29:59            

THE HAGUE, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Netherlands is expected to push for a lower budget for the European Union at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

In a debate on Wednesday in the Dutch parliament, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he will argue for more cuts in Brussels. The European Commission already proposed al multiannual budget of over 1,000 billion euros (1,300 U.S. dollars) in the period 2014-2020, but Rutte wants a budget of 900 billion euros.

In addition, the Dutch government aims a shift of expenditure from income support for farmers and support for the poorest countries to innovation, research, education and sustainability. Rutte will also call for cutbacks on administrative expenses.

With the reduction of the total budget, the Netherlands also hopes to reduce its own contribution, which is according to the Prime Minister relatively high.

"We don't do well in that respect," he said during the debate in The Hague,"We're are high on the list of net contributors. That will not change even if we get what we want. That is because many countries in the East have been added to the EU."

Currently, the Netherlands provides a total annual contribution of around 2.2 billion euros for the bloc. Rutte declined to reveal the target of the Dutch wrestle. "That would hurt our negotiating position," he said.

"We must do everything to improve our net payment," Rutte continued. "But do not expect any miracles, even if we get more than we hoped. I cannot improve our position on one EU summit. This is a multi-year project."

Editor: Hou Qiang
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