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Old Member States Would Lose on Shortening of Cohesion the Most

Posted by Tomas Zdechovsky at 09 May 2016, 15:50 CET |
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According to the surveys the Czechs take the most disapproving stand on the European integration in the European Union. However the resistance to the EU is not justified. The figures are more than clear. In ten years of the Czech membership in the EU the Czech Republic gained CZK 333 billion more than paid to the European budget. Moreover, according to the information from the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, at the end of the last year the overall positive balance increased to CZK 561.2 billion from 2004.

Obviously the Czech Republic definitely profited on its accession to the EU and the current standard of living in the Czech Republic is one of the many proves. It is the so called cohesion policy which contributes to the gained means the most. And the cohesion policy has been recently wrongfully criticized by the old member states.

The Czech membership in the EU is beneficial not only to the Czech Republic but to the old states as well. Companies from the old member states also massively profit from the free market in the Central Europe. It is not true that the Czech Republic only parasitizes the EU and does not bring any benefit to other member states. The whole EU profits from the Czech membership, because the accession of new states means primarily new opportunities for business and investment.

The statistics of the Czech National Bank and the Eurostat definitely show that since the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU to the third quarter of 2015 foreign owners gained CZK 2003.9 billion from the Czech Republic as the profit from the foreign investments. This amount significantly exceeds all grants from the EU in the last 26 years. And it is obvious that the majority of the foreign owners come from the old member states of the EU.

The EU enlargement in 2004 meant new investment occasions for companies from the old states. Yes, it is true that the Czech Republic along with other mainly post-communist states is advantaged in grants, but it is not possible to ignore the fact that the old states, or rather their companies, benefit from the new members even more.

Some politicians from the old member states of the European Union call for the reduction of the cohesion money because the Czech Republic supposedly only accepts European money, but do not want to accept immigrants. I find these threats absurd. It is primarily the old member states who would deprive themselves of the multiple effects of their investments. But if these states want to reduce their profits this way, it is their concern. But I am afraid that the whole Europe would lose.

Tomáš Zdechovský

The member of the Committee on Budgetary Control and Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament

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Tomas Zdechovsky MEP

Tomas Zdechovsky

Tomas Zdechovsky is a Czech politician, crisis manager, media analyst, poet and author. In May 2014 he was elected member of the European Parliament with KDU-ČSL, part of European Peoples Party.