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Finland's net payments to EU down in 2017

Finland paid 50 euros per inhabitant to the European Union in 2017, making a total of 275 million euros -- some 19 million euros less than the previous year.

EU:n liput liehuvat EU:n rakennuksen ulkopuolella Brysselissä.
File photo. Image: Olivier Hoslet / EPA

Finland paid in 275 million euros more to the European Union than it got back in funding in 2017, representing a 19-million-euro drop in its net EU contribution from the previous year, according to European Commission statistics.

The 2017 figure works out to 50 euros per inhabitant, down from 54 euros per inhabitant in 2016, when its payment was 294 million euros - almost twice as much as the 570 million euros it paid in 2015.

Among bloc's states that pay more to the EU than they receive, Finland paid the second-least this year. Of those countries only Ireland, which became an EU net contributor for the first time in 2014, paid less than Finland, according to the finance ministry.

Finland pays substantially less than, for example the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Denmark Austria and the UK, even though those countries receive significant payment reductions from the EU.

Due to earlier budget framework programmes that are wrapping up - or delays in the launch of new projects, there are considerable differences that each EU state pays every year.

Finland has been a member of the European Union since the beginning of 1995, and adopted the common currency in 2002. Since it introduced the euro, Finland is regularly placed among the richer EU countries that pay more into the union than they get back. EU payments are determined each year by the financial standing of the individual countries.

The figures from 2017 mean that Finland fell to second-last (ahead of Ireland) in the list of EU member states that contribute more into the union that they receive.

The largest net-paying countries in the union in 2017 were Germany, Sweden and Austria.

The countries that took the most EU money and paid the least in return include Lithuania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

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