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New members slow at spending EU funds

The 12 new members of the European Union seems to be too slow at making use of EU support funds, said Dalia Grybauskaité, EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, at her press conference presenting the EU budget proposal for 2009.

Some of them spent only 70% to 80% of the support granted in the period of 2004 – 2006, and this year most resources will expire, she warned. The new members not only can but also have to use the EU money, she emphasized. Statistics posted at the beginning of 2008 showed that the new members managed to spend 62% to 82 % of the money due between 2004 and 2006, with Hungary having the best performance.

In the 2009 EU budget funding will be more balanced, said Grybauskaité. The EU-12 will have a 50% share, as against the 25% in 2006, and their share in agricultural funds will have grown to 18% from 10% in 2006. The final adoption of the EU budget will take place during the European Parliament plenary December. (Gazdasági Rádió)