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What is the size of the EU budget, and how much do the Member States contribute to it?

The EU’s budget is entirely financed through the EU’s own resources. The EU’s own resources are amounts which are collected in the Member States with a maximum of 1.24 % of Member States gross national income (GNI).

The EU’s own resources consist of four elements: 

  1. Revenue from customs duties 
  2. Agricultural levies 
  3. Revenue from VAT 
  4. A percentage of the Member States’ GNI

The VAT contribution is calculated using a uniform basis of assessment to take into account differences in VAT rates between countries.

The EU’s budget for 2012 was EUR 147.2 billion in commitment appropriations and EUR 129.1 billion in payment appropriations

Breakdown of the EU’s expenditure for 2011 (EUR billions)
Category of expenditure
1Sustainable growth


2Preservation and management of natural resources


3Citizenship, freedom, security and justice



The EU as a global partner





Commitment appropriations are appropriations which in an accounting year cover the total costs of commitments entered into in connection with the implementation of initiatives which are carried out over a period of more than one accounting year. The commitment appropriations are the upper limit on the expenditure for which commitments may be entered into during the course of the accounting year concerned.

Payment appropriations are appropriations which cover expenditure on the actual payments in the accounting year concerned.

Sidst opdateret: 12-08-2013  - NMP