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European Commissioner Gunther Oettinger visited Finland on Thursday afternoon.
Oettinger is responsible for the EU budget, and after discussing with Sampo Terho, the minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport, they found mutual interest in Brexit and the hole in the EU’s budget after Britain will divorce the Union in 2019.
According to Oettinger, the countries that will remain in the EU should aim to fill the financial gap left by Brexit.
Oettinger said that Britain’s departure will take about 12-13 billion euros from the EU’s budget. The current EU budget is 160 billion euros.
One thing appeared for sure in the press conference: Terho was not interested in sending or allocating any extra money to the EU.
Terho said that Brexit must be taken into account when the EU budget is pieced together. According to him, the union should decrease its budget for the very same amount that Britain will take in the divorce.
Terho said that Finland has made significant cuts to its own budget in the past few years, and it’s not wise that the savings should be allocated to the EU budget.
Oettinger said that European Union needs money to control immigration, guarding the borders, to defense research, to the fight against terrorism and to develop digitalization, artificial intelligence and robotics.