EP admits some new members may be net payers

The European Parliament yesterday admitted that some new members of the European Union could initially contribute more to the Union's joint budget than they would receive from it.

New members, expected to be admitted in 2004, are to pay roughly one per cent of their GDP to the EU, which in the first year should collectively come to 5.24 billion euro.

While they are in theory able to draw from the EU a sum in transfer payments that is 3.6 billion euro higher, the money has to be issued through development projects that require a long and complicated approval process, meaning some countries might not be able to draw all they are entitled to because of low-quality project proposals.

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