Denmark gets bigger discount in EU budget

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says Denmark’s discount in the EU budget will rise from one billion kroner per year to almost three billion

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen hailed the EU agreement on a post-coronavirus recovery package and a seven-year budget, highlighting the bigger discount that Denmark will receive.

Frederiksen was referring to a deal that EU leaders reached on Tuesday on a coronavirus stimulus plan worth 750 billion euros as well as the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget amounting to 1.1 trillion euros.

The agreement was reached after four tense days of marathon talks among EU leaders meeting at a summit in Brussels, the group’s longest negotiations since 2000.

3 billion kroner
In a Facebook post, Frederiksen said that Denmark’s discount in the EU budget will rise from one billion kroner per year to almost 3 billion kroner.

“It is of course important that we have received a – probably for many – surprisingly good, large Danish discount. This indicates that you can fight for both Danish and European interests at the same time,” Frederiksen said, as reported by DR.

Despite the discount, Denmark’s total EU contribution will increase by about 4.5 billion kroner per year over the next seven years – about 23 percent – according to preliminary calculations of the Ministry of Finance. The increase is due among other things to Brexit.

Frederiksen added that the EU budget is more environment-friendly, with 30 percent earmarked for the climate, a key priority for Denmark.

More focus on loans
As for the coronavirus recovery package, the prime minister said that EU leaders agreed on fewer direct grants and a greater focus on loans. This is an objective that Denmark has been pushing for alongside other so-called Frugal Four countries the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria.

Of the 750 billion euro fund, 390 billion euros will be in the form of grants while another 360 billion will be in low-interest loans. Hard-hit countries such as Italy and Spain are expected to be the main recipients of the fund.

The EU has also agreed to link the budget with democratic values to pressure countries such as Hungary and Poland to abide by the rule of law.

EU honeymoon
The prime minister thanked her colleagues for the hard negotiations, which she said were done in a good atmosphere.

She added that EU leaders had invited her and her husband to their countries following their wedding last week.

“Many of them have tried to convince me during breaks that Bo’s and my real honeymoon should be to go to their country. Several have even sent flowers to convince me,” Frederiksen said.