The EU budget and UK contribution

Publication date: 10 May 2016 | Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | Theme: Exiting the EU & Britain after Brexit | External Author(s): Begg, I | JEL Classification: F55, H11, H61 | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 236 | Pages: 39-47 | Publisher: Sage Publications, London

The European Union budget is small and fulfils only a limited range of functions, yet it provokes regular disputes among the Member States and institutions of the Union. This paper describes the structure of the budget and shows that standard theories, such as fiscal federalism, are not well-suited to analysing how the EU budget operates or the political economy behind it. The paper then looks at how much the UK contributes towards the EU budget and explains why some of the claims made about it in the public discourse are inaccurate.

Keyword tags: 
European Union budget
fiscal federalism
UK referendum on EU
EU cohesion policy
common agricultural policy
own resources