Belgium has the potential to receive around € 375 million from the European Brexit Fund, which aims to support member states, regions and economic sectors most affected by the UK’s exit from the European Union. The European Parliament passed its negotiating mandate on Tuesday evening, but it has already agreed to allocate funds previously approved by member states.
from Brexit Amendment ReserveAs the fund is officially called, it will be provided with 5 billion euros in European funds (at fixed prices for 2018). If it depends on the European Parliament, 4 billion euros of this will be split into two equal tranches of 2 billion dollars between the 27 countries of the European Union in 2021 and 2022, as pre-financing. The remaining € 1 billion will be allocated in 2025, on the basis of expenditures incurred and declared to the European Commission, subject to pre-financing.
The European Parliament and member states must again agree on the costs and investments related to Brexit and in which the money from the fund can be used. But the Parliament’s Regional Development Committee had already approved Tuesday evening the distribution of billions that member states had already put off at the end of April. Expressed in constant prices, Belgium has a view of everything together at € 353,330,180. At current prices – including inflation – this amounts to an amount ranging between 375 and 380 million euros. It will only become clear how much each member state will receive at current rates when Parliament and Council negotiators finish finalizing the Brexit Fund.
It is also not clear how the European aid will be distributed internally in Belgium. When the European Commission presented its Brexit Fund proposal at the start of this year, there were still 324 million euros for our country (only pre-financing, at current prices). About 140 million euros of that would have gone to Flanders and another 60 million euros for the Flemish fishing sector. The base amount has remained the same in Parliament and Council’s schedule, but with the distribution of the last billion out of the fund now adjusted, the final amount for our country can still change. The distribution within Belgium will be examined by the federal government and the states.
Expressed in constant prices, Ireland will be the largest beneficiary of the fund with € 1.064 billion, ahead of the Netherlands (810 million), France (672 million), Germany (591 million) and Belgium (353 million). The allocation method is based on the dependence of the economy of each member state on trade with the United Kingdom, with a special focus on fishing.
Belgian rapporteur Pascal Aremont (of the German-speaking CSP) explained that it makes sense for Parliament to agree to a split of funds by member states before actual negotiations with the council. He said that a lot of work has been done to define the key to the distribution, “These numbers do not come out of the blue.”
Parliament wants measures taken in the context of Brexit to be eligible for support from the Fund between 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2023. The Council intends to limit this reference period to the time period between January 1, 2020 and the end of 2023. It includes measures that could The support receives assistance from economic sectors, companies, small and medium enterprises, local communities (fishing), work programs, reintegration projects, borders, customs controls, health, phytosanitary and security. MEPs do not want banks and other financial institutions benefiting from Brexit to receive support from the fund.
MEPs hope to have smooth negotiations with member states and want to be able to end the talks by June.