The Netherlands is the second largest recipient of the European Union’s Brexit Fund, after Ireland. The Hague can expect more than 750 million euros this year, out of 5 billion that Brussels has allocated for this. Most of this (€ 4 billion) will be paid to the hardest-hit countries this year, and the rest in 2024.
It was clear for some time that Ireland and the Netherlands would be hit hard economically by Brexit. The amounts proposed by the European Commission are in line with this. The distribution among the 27 member states of the European Union mainly looks at the economic interdependence with the United Kingdom and the extent to which fishermen in that country depend on British waters.
In the Brexit agreement that the EU and the UK closed in time on December 24, it was agreed that EU fishermen would be allowed to catch 25 percent less fish in those British waters in the coming years.
Ireland will receive more than 1 billion euros from the fund this year, or a quarter of the total. It is followed by Germany (455 million), France (420 million), and Belgium (325 million). The distribution has not been approved by the member states and the European Parliament. In the view of the European Commission, Slovenia (compensating 3.2 million), Croatia (4.3 million) and Estonia (4.5 million) of all EU countries are the least affected by Brexit.
The creation of a “ Brexit Adjustment Reserve, ” as the fund is formally called, was one of the (smaller) mitigating circumstances for the Netherlands to approve the long-term EU budget as a whole last year. The Hague deemed it unfair that the Netherlands had to contribute a relatively large amount to that budget in order to absorb the financial consequences of the British departure, while the country had also been disproportionately affected by Brexit.
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