• Sweden's news in English

Reinfeldt hails EU budget deal as 'good for Sweden'

8 Feb 2013, 18:10

Published: 08 Feb 2013 18:10 GMT+01:00

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt praised the result as "very good for Sweden".

According to Reinfeldt, the fee Sweden pays to be a part of the European Union will drop from the 32.5 billion kronor paid in 2012 to 32 billion kronor.

After a night-long marathon session hashing out details between the 27 member nations and the European Council, Sweden walked away with its discount in tact, albeit slimmed down.

The reduction means that Sweden will retain 80 percent of its current discout, which amounts to 2.8 billion kronor. The rebate reduction is also due in part to the fact that the level EU membership fees has fallen.

Swedish EU Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) was satisfied with the cuts to the EU budget.

"We were aiming for €100 billion in cuts, and ended up with about €90 billion. That's surprisingly good," she said in a statement.

But Sweden's Green Party was critical of the compromise to the EU long-term budget.

“From a Swedish perspective, it’s nothing more than a failure that the Swedish rebate seems to have been cut substantially,” Green MP Ulf Holm said in a statement.

The draft deal sets the 2014-20 actual EU spending or "payments" at €908.4 billion ($1.2 trillion), with an absolute ceiling of €960 billion for spending "commitments" to the budget.

The latest figures would represent a 3.0 percent cut from the 2007-13 budget and were less than the €973 billion that was rejected at a budget summit in November that collapsed without any deal.

Originally, the European Commission had wanted a 5.0 percent increase in commitments to €1.04 trillion ($1.4 trillion) – about one percent of the EU's total gross domestic product.

Despite Friday's deal, the spectre of a European Parliament veto on a slimmed-down union budget haunts observers in Sweden as it could deprive Sweden of its membership discount.

Cuts demanded by several members, as well as a discount for Denmark whose prime minister daringly included it in her national budget before even landing in Brussels, means that the EU parliamentarians may put their foot down if they decide the budget is too thinned out.

European Parliamentary speaker Martin Schultz has previously warned that too much of a gap between what the Council has said is needed to run the EU and what the member states are prepared to contribute could result in the proposed budget being voted down.

Story continues below…

If no agreement is struck, a return to the negotiation table for what is likely to be yet another round of marathon discussions is unavoidable.

Were they to fail, the current EU budget would then remain in place, meaning that Sweden's hard-fought EU discount would no longer apply, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

20:29 February 8, 2013 by byke
Which politician (apart from Mr Hollande of france) will come away from this and not say that they have secured a deal they are happy with? As that would question there very own abilities.

Europe is split - with the poor countries wanting Europe to have more cash pumped into it, so they can skim off the top.

And the richer countries wanting to invest less cash in the EU so they dont pay for other nations negligence.

Interesting to see that France is now in the same group as Greece, Spain and Italy.
20:36 February 8, 2013 by stigskog
Every country gets a discount.

It is just propaganda to shift peoples perceptions a little in the direction of believing that their country is getting a good deal from the EU.
20:39 February 8, 2013 by johan rebel
Discontinue all the insane (agricultural) subsidies, and the EU could easily make do with a budget of €300m or so.
20:57 February 8, 2013 by skogsbo
johan, I agree. cut the agri subsidies and people pay the real price of food in the supermarket. It will go up by 20-30% over night, but it's better than paying tax to one government, who give it to the EU, who pass it around a few dozen agencies then hand it back to the same government.
21:29 February 8, 2013 by Hisingen
Byke asks:- Which politician (apart from Mr Hollande of france) will come away from this and not say that they have secured a deal they are happy with? As that would question there very own abilities.

Easy - the EU politicians, as long as they get their increase in the EU budget. They will cling like the proverbial .#.¤. to a blanket to maintain their over-blown standard of iving and expences, and to blazes with what the countries who foot the bill have to say.

Agricultural subsidies et al on one side, the over-large EU parliament and the constant shuffling between Brussels and Strasbourg are two of the main causes of over expenditure, coupled with wasteful 'projects' dreamed up by some office worker and taken up by an EU parliamentarian as w 'wonderful project' that will put his/her name in the history books.

The whole kaboodle has got out of hand and is now the white elephant of Europe. A return to the forerunner - EFTA would be the only solution, but that will never happen since those who have given themselves power will never relinquish it without one hell of a fight.
22:06 February 8, 2013 by LOUCON70
Good day Sweden. Here in Britain, we are viewing this budget with a suspicious eye. Britain will still be paying more into the budget as effects of Tony Blairs handing over of some of our rebate takes effect. We all agree also that the CAP is a major cost to the EU and benefits only a few; Mainly French and wealthy farmers. Opinion Polls 3 weeks ago on MSN UK (a free, independant, unbias) homepage showed a 82% in favour of OUT vote. After a week of scaremongering by the EU and PRO EU UK politicians that number dropped to 62%............Most in UK have no bad views of Europe or its people....why would we?........but we dispise the undemocratic, unaccountable, socialist federal EU parlaimant and commission. We are fighting to hold onto democracy throughout Britain and Europe.
Today's headlines
Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter
Buses arrive at Malmömässan to deliver refugees. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter

10 hours ago

Refugees sheltering in Malmö's 2013 Eurovision venue are begging to leave, with one describing it as a "prison" with "inhuman conditions", while Swedish nurses working there have been pulled out because of the health risks.

Swedish DJ salutes high jumper in inspiring vid
Dick Fosbury performing the flop. Photo: Screen Grab/Youtube

Swedish DJ salutes high jumper in inspiring vid

11 hours ago

The video for Swedish DJ Avicii's ‘Broken Arrows’ single tells the story of 1960s high jumper Dick Fosbury, whose “Fosbury Flop” technique revolutionised the sport and brought its inventor Olympic gold.

Southern Sweden braced for mighty Storm Gorm
A woman watches Storm Egon from Malmö's Västra Hamnen district. Photo: Jonas Nilssen/TT

Southern Sweden braced for mighty Storm Gorm

13 hours ago

Southern Sweden was braced for a battering on Sunday night, as Storm Gorm, which forecasters predict could reach hurricane strength, rampaged its way across Denmark.

Hijab mural painted over with hair at Swedish mall
The centre's management insisted that hair (right) was painted over the hijab (left). Photo: Pia Jönsson/Facebook

Hijab mural painted over with hair at Swedish mall

1 day ago

A shopping centre in Sweden forced a youth group it had commissioned to paint a mural to cover up a hijab they had put on a woman by concealing it under a haircut.

Accent with bizarre 'yes' is 'sexiest in Sweden'
Just breathe in if you mean yes. Photo: Mötesplatsen.se

Accent with bizarre 'yes' is 'sexiest in Sweden'

1 day ago

Their word for ‘yes’ is limited to a pursing of the lips and a slight intake of breath, but according to a new survey Norrlanders have the sexiest accent in Sweden.

Sweden Democrats eye power after border move
Jimmie Åkesson at the Sweden Democrat's national day in Lund. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Sweden Democrats eye power after border move

1 day ago

The leader of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats on Saturday hailed the Nordic country's dramatic tightening of asylum policy, arguing that it would open the way for his party to join a future right-wing government.

14,000 illegal immigrants disappear without trace
Swedish police officers patrolling Stockholm. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

14,000 illegal immigrants disappear without trace

2 days ago

More than 14,000 foreign nationals told to leave Sweden have instead gone underground, with police saying there is little they can do to enforce deportation orders.

Ahoy! Swede builds giant pirate ship in his garden
This picture of the boat has more than 14,700 likes on Facebook. Photo: Private

Ahoy! Swede builds giant pirate ship in his garden

2 days ago

A Swedish man found Facebook fame after pictures of a giant pirate ship he built for his children when he was on sick leave from work went viral on Friday.

'She's a forerunner and inspiration for startups'
Niklas Zennström, Jane Walerud and Jessica Stark. Photo: SUP46

'She's a forerunner and inspiration for startups'

2 days ago

A US-born entrepreneur who has helped pave the way for women in tech has joined the ranks of some of Sweden's top innovators and businesspeople in a Swedish startup hall of fame.

Swedish court: 'We cannot ban Pirate Bay'
Bredbandsbolaget was not compelled to block the Swedish file-sharing site, Pirate Bay. Vilhelm Stokstad / TT

Swedish court: 'We cannot ban Pirate Bay'

2 days ago

In a landmark decision, a Swedish court on Friday ruled that the country's internet service providers cannot be forced to block controversial Swedish file-sharing site Pirate Bay.

Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
POLL: Swedes back new asylum rules
Sponsored Article
Top five UK weekend getaways from Sweden
Five weirdest Christmas attacks on Sweden's famous straw goat
Sponsored Article
After Paris: 'The war is not only against Isis'
Blog updates

25 November

So What Does An Ambassador Do? (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I know that my mum is super proud that I’m an Ambassador. But if you asked..." READ »


20 November

Editor’s blog, November 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, It has been a long and busy week for The Local as we reported on..." READ »

Five myths about Sweden's refugees
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm solved a startup’s housing crisis
How did this missing Swedish cat turn up in southern France?
Sponsored Article
Swedish researchers find Ice Age 'missing link'
Sponsored Article
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
Sponsored Article
Beaches, bikes, and buds: studying in Malmö
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
People-watching: November 25th
What do Swedes want for Christmas?
GUIDE: How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Sweden must combat extremist 'mirage'
Mystery ice circle in Swedish river
IN PICTURES: New royal winter snaps of Sweden's Princess Estelle
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
Stockholm film festival's top movies
Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: the new epicentre of global leadership
Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
‘Food choices in Sweden destroy forests in Asia’
People-watching: November 20th-22nd
Swedish King calls for bathtub ban
Analysis & Opinion
Why you should care about Sweden raising its terror threat level
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Stockholm's best international bars
Is this the best warning sign ever?
Why are more Swedes getting fat?
Sweden's tribute to Paris victims
What is Sweden's sexiest name?
VIDEO: Madonna's emotional tribute to Paris victims at Stockholm gig
Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs
Sweden cashes in on new kronor banknotes
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: