The Other Frugal Four

The V4 Closely Watches the EU Budget Discussion

27 May 2020

Martin Ehl

Senior Associate

The Visegrad Group countries are in kind of a „semi-frugal“ position. Central Europe wants to keep cohesion in times when many wealthier members are and will be hit much harder.

The story of Visegrad Group countries and the new EU budget for 2021-2027 in coronavirus emergency has become a story of selfishness and misunderstanding. The four countries still need the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) which is necessary as a key driver of continued development. But all four countries have already got before the pandemics closer to a situation of becoming payers or frugal nations.

They refused to compromise on the expected money transfers in the new MFF period because leading politicians are aware that might be the last chance to get really big funds before these countries, especially in Czechia, will be rich enough not to qualify for cohesion and other funds.

That puts the four capitals in a position of being somewhere in between the richest countries of the north of the EU and poor countries of the South which are heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis. It might change the equilibrium within the EU from an East-West divide into a North-South one for the upcoming final phase of negotiations around the MFF.

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Martin Ehl

Senior Associate

Visegrad Insight Senior Associate. Martin Ehl is the Chief Analyst at Hospodářské noviny (Economic daily)

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