Understanding the European Union Budget

A simple visual guide to show you what it is, where the money comes from, and where it goes

Understanding the
European Union Budget

A simple visual guide to show you what it is,
where the money comes from, and where it goes

Understanding the European Union Budget

A simple visual guide to show you what it is, where the money comes from, and where it goes

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Why the European Union Budget exists

The 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) agreed that having one single budget to deal with common challenges is cheaper and more effective than tackling these challenges independently.

Many achievements of the EU would not have been possible without this common budget. These achievements include: healthier and safer food; new and better roads, railways and airports; a cleaner environment; higher security at the EU’s external borders; studying opportunities abroad; and cultural exchanges.

The size of the European Union Budget

The EU budget (€ 146 027 million - blue area) is equal to around 2% of the sum of the 28 Member States’ national budgets (€ 6 607 000 million - orange area). To put that into perspective, individual citizens contribute on average less than 1 euro a day towards the EU budget.

The size of the European Union Budget

The EU budget is equal to around 2% of the sum of the 28 Member States’ national budgets. To put that into perspective, individual citizens contribute on average less than 1 euro a day towards the EU budget.

Where the money comes from and where it goes

The EU budget is funded mainly by contributions from the 28 Member States. About 94% of the money funds real activities on the ground that benefit European citizens, regions, cities, farmers, and businesses. The EU's administrative expenses account for 6% of the total EU budget. The budget never builds up debt and only spends what it receives.

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Revenue
Details

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Expenditure
Details

How much each Member State contributes and gets back

One goal of the European Union is to reduce economic gaps between the EU's various regions. Some Member States contribute more money to the EU budget than they receive back in funding each year (net contributors) while some receive more than they pay (net recipients). Net recipients and contributors vary over time.

To foster a constructive conversation based on data

To foster a constructive conversation
based on data

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