Germany, Netherlands Lead Critique of 2015 EU Budget From Payers

Germany and the Netherlands slammed the European Union’s proposed budget for 2015, leading a wave of criticism from countries that pay in more than they receive.

Only “unforeseen circumstances” would justify going over the planned payment ceiling or using contingency funds, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said during a meeting of EU finance chiefs in Luxembourg today. The U.K. called for the EU to show budget discipline, joining other nations in criticizing the proposal from EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski.

“We’re taking a tremendous risk by not leaving any margin at this phase at the start of the budgetary year,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. “When the commissioner speaks about dealing with snowballing unpaid bills, I think he needs to take a more fundamental approach by making sure that no more snow sticks to the ball instead of making more funds available all the time.”

Nations that receive more EU funds than they pay supported the budget proposal.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rebecca Christie in Luxembourg at rchristie4@bloomberg.net; Corina Ruhe in Luxembourg at cruhe@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net Alessandra Migliaccio

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