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> - Fines account for <5% of the EU's budget

This is maybe not as comforting as you think it sounds. 1.5B is 1% of the budget that you describe below, which is non-trivial -- that's make or break money. I'm guessing it exceeds the total annual contribution of several member states (I tried to find the actual budget, but talk about incomprehensible documents [1] -- what's an "own resource"? What's with the obsession with sugar?). To that end it seems like fines like this are a critical part of the EU's budget.

> If you sum up all the fines collected by continent

I'm wondering if you have a reference for that -- I can't really find anything definitive and it would be interesting as a data point.

[1] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A...

I think I know where you are coming from, for a nation 1% is significant, but I don't think you realize what the EU budget is used for.

47% subsidies for farmers, 30% regional support subsidies (e.g. they might co-found an R&D project in an outermost region in a country):


So mostly subsidies. If there's a deficit, they can cut the regional subsidies which I believe are mostly individual projects with relatively short timespans.

The farming subsidy is more like social security, I think you'd have riots in France if you cut that significantly. Which is sad.

That is a good point. I guess in theory the fact that the amounts are rebated from the next budget could provide an incentive for individual members to push for increased fines, but given the reduction would be proportional, and national budgets are so much larger than these amounts, it wouldn't really amount to a significant national budget windfall.

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