The finance minister told Dutch daily Trouw that “budget rules have become too complicated, even for our officials” and that “they need to change”. Dijsselbloem added that “they do not know what they need to do under their current configuration”.
The head of the Eurogroup also insisted that the EU’s budget should focus less on agricultural subsidies and instead be funnelled into “innovation and real economic structures”.
The Dutch politician was also doubtful over whether Brussels would or would not accept the Netherlands’ budget for 2017, insisting it is a “complicated” matter and that “if I do not understand it, I certainly can’t explain it to the readers of Trouw why the rules are the way they are”.
European Union countries agreed on Monday (12 September) to slash funds from next year’s EU budget to poor regions of the bloc, mostly in the east, while increasing spending to manage migration flows and spur growth.
Dijsselbloem’s comments come just over a month ahead of the Commission’s 15 October deadline for the member states to submit their draft budgetary plans.
Each year, the EU countries that share the euro as their currency submit draft budgets to the Commission. The executive assesses the plans to ensure that economic policy among the countries sharing the euro is coordinated and that they all respect the EU’s economic governance rules.
The draft budgetary plans are graded as either compliant, partially compliant, or at risk of non-compliance.