Portugal prepares for EU funding cut

PORTUGAL will receive less European funding from 2007 onwards, once the new EU budget is approved.

During 2005, each Portuguese citizen will receive approximately 1.28 euros per day in EU funds, but this amount will shrink considerably after 2007. The 25 members of the EU are currently negotiating the budget for the period 2007-2013, amid complaints from the richest countries that want to reduce their contributions.

This year’s budget envisages that Portugal will receive 4,699 million euros in EU funds. That represents part of an overall package of 22.8 thousand million euros attributed to Portugal over the financial period that started in 2000 and runs until 2006.

The enlargement of the EU has led the commission to propose that each member of the EU expands its contribution to the equivalent of 1.14 per cent of GDP of each member. The proposal has displeased the six net contributors, who want to continue to transfer only one per cent of GDP into EU coffers. They have also suggested that funds should be cut to those countries that, until now, have been the main beneficiaries of funds – Portugal, Spain, Greece and Ireland – in order to distribute funds to the 10 new members.