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Adrienne Warren

Being Supportive: Which CEE Countries Get the Most or Make the Most of EU Funding?

According to a study by KPMG Baltics OÜ, an auditing service based in Estonia, the Baltic States are the most successful users of European Union structural funds in Central and Eastern Europe. Head of advisory services at KPMG Baltics Karin Ratsep, explained,“For several years in a row the Baltic countries have shown themselves as successful users of EU grants. Although Bulgaria is the most successful in the field of entering contracts where grant sums have been fully covered by contracts, Baltic countries are at the top of the chart of subsidies paid out.” So where do other countries stand? Eastbook.eu takes a look…

Tallinn, Estonia. author: Pensiero. source: Flickr

Tallinn, Estonia. author: Pensiero. source: Flickr

According to the European Union Commission, structural funds are funding instruments that allow the EU to grant financial assistance to specific sectors, regions, or combinations of both, to resolve structural economic and social problems–and ideally, level the playing field for EU members in terms of development and progress.

In Latvia the percentage of subsidies covered is 94 percent, and in Estonia and Lithuania 91 percent. The average indicator in the region is 83 percent. The rate of subsidies paid out is the highest in Estonia and Lithuania at 59 percent, followed by the Czech Republic and Latvia with 57 percent and 56 percent respectively. The average indicator in Central and Eastern Europe is 44 percent.

While Poland has the biggest general EU support budget as its supports reach 67.2 billion euros in the current budgetary period, Estonia gets the largest amount per capita – 2,541 euros while the average of Central and Eastern Europe is 2,002 euros. The total sum of EU support to Estonia is 3.4 billion euros.

Anda Drožina, manager of KPMG in Latvia, explains:

“Contribution of EU funds to the GDP represents 11% to 25% in the Central and Eastern Europe countries (Latvia– 20.4%, Lithuania – 20.7% and Estonia– 20%). This confirms that a successful utilization of EU co-financing plays a significant role in the economic performance of the Baltic states as well as that of other Central and Eastern European countries. 2013 will be the last year of the programming period 2007-2013. ..by the end of 2012 all three Baltic countries  have contracted over 90% and paid out over 56% of the available budget compared to the respective average ratio of 83% and 44% in the region.”

In the overall context of the EU budget, 2012 statistics show that Poland is the biggest beneficiary from the EU budget. Last year it received a net amount of €11.2bn from Brussels. The bulk of the money was directed towards “cohesion for growth and employment“, which helps poorer regions and countries catch up and connect to the Single Market.

Greece was the second-largest recipient. The EC increased the amount of structural funds it received by more than €700m in 2011 because of the financial crisis.

At €2,977.88, Luxembourg currently receives the most money from the EU per capita, although this figure is distorted by the fact that it is home to several EU institutions, including Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, and European Court of Justice.

At the other end of the scale, Denmark contributes the most per capita, at €264.47. While, Germany contributes an average of €240.68 per person.

Compare and Contrast the CEE Countries …

sources: Postimees, KPMG

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Graduated in International Relations and Russian. Resident of Estonia, but a citizen of the world. Most interested in contributing to the progress and education of mankind--as the primary tool of achieving global unity.

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