VIENNA – Cautious approval of Michel’s EU budget proposal

The proposal put forward by European Council President Charles Michel “goes into the right direction”, said Austrian EU minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP). Austria still demands that its budget contributions benefit from rebates, “as compensation for the fact that we, as the now third-biggest net payer, give more than we get”, the minister said. Without the rebates, Austria would become the second-biggest net payer, she added.

During the last weeks, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) had repeatedly stated that paying anything more than 1% of the member state’s gross national income (GNI) would be “unacceptable”. Publicly, Kurz changed his stance only recently during a web-TV interview where he said on 11 February that the negotiation range was between 1 and 1.11%.

Edtstadler also called for EU funds to be linked to the rule of law in EU member states. (Philipp Grüll |


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