It was assumed that the subject would divide the French political class, it was not lacking. The National Assembly adopted Monday evening the contribution of France to the budget of the European Union for 2021, a record amount of 26.864 billion euros. This represents an increase of 25% compared to 2020, in particular because of Brexit and the coronavirus crisis. “Never in our budgetary history had such an amount been reached”, underlined MP Gilles Carrez (LR).
This contribution comes in the “exceptional context” of Brexit, which forces to compensate for the contribution of London to the European budget, and of the Covid-19 pandemic with its economic consequences, two crises which explain the major part of the increase, notes the Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune.
France, third beneficiary
The latter compared the advances obtained by Paris in the European negotiations, in particular the “stabilization of amounts for the Common Agricultural Policy and Fisheries”, as well as for the “support policy for the regions”.
He especially highlighted the agreement acquired at the European summit last July to support EU countries facing the pandemic, of which France, with 40 billion euros, is the third beneficiary after Italy and Spain. .
While acknowledging that the French contribution to the EU represented a “considerable” amount, budget rapporteur Laurent Saint-Martin (LREM) stressed that Europe would make it possible to “finance our own recovery”. For the socialist group, Valérie Rabault also argued that “we are financially winning with Europe”, which allows in particular, thanks to the euro zone, “to finance our debt at low cost”.
“Sad record”, according to Marine Le Pen
However, many criticisms have targeted the assumption of 700 million euros by France of the budget rebates granted to so-called “frugal” countries (the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Sweden), in return for the agreement of July. “It’s far from being glorious,” said Ms. Rabault.
The group of Republicans, without questioning “the principle” of the European recovery plan, questioned by the voice of the deputy Constance Le Grip on “an uncertain repayment schedule” of the amounts advanced. Several amendments from the right-wing and far-right opposition have unsuccessfully called for a downward revision of the amount of the French contribution.
The president of the National Rally Marine Le Pen asked to withdraw 10 billion euros from this contribution, which she said reached a “sad record” and will be used to finance a “totally ineffective institution”.
The leader of the Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for his part, considered that the French were “the turkeys of the farce” of European financial negotiations. “We have never given so much, and never will we have received so little,” he added. “False” replied Clément Beaune, arguing that thanks to Europe’s 40 billion to the French stimulus plan “we will have a return greater than what we have ever received”.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr