BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is not willing to automatically increase its contribution to the European Union’s budget after Britain leaves the bloc, Deputy Finance Minister Jens Spahn said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.
“If Britain’s contribution falls away, the EU budget will shrink,” Jens Spahn told Handelsblatt.
“There is certainly no automatic mechanism that (would make) Germany and other net contributors increase their contribution,” he added.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, already makes the largest net contribution to the EU budget each year at more than 15 billion euros.
According to an internal Finance Ministry report in September, Germany may have to contribute an extra 4.5 billion euros per year in 2019 and 2020 to the EU budget after Britain leaves the union.
The looming loss of the second-largest net contributor - Britain - could mean Germany’s share of the EU’s gross domestic product would rise to 25 percent from 21 percent currently.
Spahn also suggested that the European Commission should link the disbursement of aid from its structural funds to the implementation by EU states of reforms recommended by Brussels.
“We are in favour of making aid from the structural funds in part conditional,” Spahn said, adding that money should only be paid out to weaker EU countries if they implemented the country-specific reform recommendations of the European Commission.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Hugh Lawson