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Allocation of EU expenditure by Member State and by heading

Allocating expenditure to Member States is merely an accounting exercise that gives a very limited view of the benefits that each Member State derives from the Union. The Commission continues to stress this point at every opportunity1. This accounting allocation, among other drawbacks, is non-exhaustive and gives no indication of many of the other benefits gained from EU policies such as those relating to the internal market and economic integration, not to mention political stability and security.


In 2013, a total amount of EUR 134 656.1 million (i.e. 90.70 % of the total implemented EU expenditure including EFTA contributions and earmarked revenue) was allocated to Member States. See notes in tables annexed for further details on the methodology used for the allocation of expenditure.

Financial data structure

Financial data structure

In total, 94.4 % of the EU budget that is allocated to the EU member states is funding policies and projects in member states. The chart below provides an overview of how each country benefited from the budget and gives the relative importance compared with each Member State’s gross national income (GNI) for a better understanding of the figures. The result of this accounting exercise is relative in the sense that it does not /cannot show all direct or indirect economic impact of EU financial transfers (in form of business/export opportunities, foreign trade etc..).

EU budget 2013 – Implemented payments (million EUR)

Expenditure by Member State in 2013

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EU budget 2007-13 – Implemented payments (million EUR)

Expenditure by Member State in 2007-13

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Methodological note: allocation of expenditure in 2013

In 2013, total executed EU expenditure amounted to EUR 144 078.1 million (excluding EUR 4 390.4 million of expenditure made from earmarked revenue and including EUR 293 million of expenditure made of EFTA contributions) or EUR 148 468.9 million when including earmarked revenue and those from EFTA, of which EUR 134 656.1 million (i.e. 90.70 %) was allocated to member states and EUR 6 357.9 million to third countries.

Further to this an amount of EUR 3 064.1 million was allocated to various states in case of which the country of the final beneficiary cannot be determined.

As a comparison, the corresponding 2012 figures were EUR 138 683.4 million (total executed EU expenditures), EUR 126 349.3 million (allocated to the EU member states), EUR 6 239.2 million (third countries) and EUR 3 263.1 million (undetermined countries).

In 2013, EU expenditure allocated to third countries (i.e. EUR 6 357.9 million) concerned mainly part of ‘The EU as a global player’ (EUR 5 077.1 million), research (EUR 660.3 million), Trans-European Transport Network (TEN) (EUR 209.8 million), fisheries (EUR 99.7 million) and other (EUR 311 million).

The 2013 EU expenditure with undetermined beneficiary (i.e. EUR 3 064.1 million) falls into the following categories:

  • part of expenditure under ‘The EU as a global player’ (EUR 1 518.7 million);
  • expenditure which, by its nature, cannot be attributed to specific Member States: EUR 1 545.4 million. This concerns part of administration (EUR 465.8 million), research (EUR 668.9 million), competitiveness and innovation (EUR 152.5 million) and other (EUR 258.2 million).


Year of reference

Executed and allocated expenditure are actual payments made during a financial year, pursuant to that year’s appropriations or to carryovers of non-utilised appropriations from the previous year. Expenditure financed from earmarked revenue is presented separately.

Allocation of expenditure

Based on the criteria used for the UK correction, i.e. all possible expenditure must be allocated, except for external actions, pre-accession strategy (if paid to the EU-15), guarantees, reserves and expenditure under earmarked revenue.

Allocation by Member State

Expenditure is allocated to the country in which the principal recipient resides, on the basis of the information available in the Commission´s accounting system ABAC. Some expenditure is not (or is improperly) allocated in ABAC, due to conceptual difficulties. In this case, whenever obtained from the corresponding services, additional information is used (e.g. for Galileo, research and administration).

1 A full statement on this policy and its rationale was made in Chapter 2 of the 1998 Commission report ‘Financing of the European Union’ and in ‘Budget contributions, EU expenditure, budgetary balances and relative prosperity of the Member States’, a paper presented by the Commission to the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of 13 October 1997. The Presidency conclusions of the Berlin European Council of 24 and 25 March 1999 endorse this principle: ‘[...] it is recognised that the full benefits of Union membership cannot be measured solely in budgetary terms’ (point 68 of the Presidency conclusions).