The EU’s Biggest ‘Takers’ and ‘Givers’

The question of which countries are paying more in EU contributions than they are getting out is a contentious issue for some and was also one major factor in the Brexit vote in the UK.

In the 2017 budget, there were ten EU members contributing more than they got out of the EU, at least in terms of direct monetary contributions. As Statista’s Katharina Buchholz notes, UK came in second place in the ranking, with roughly 7.5 million euros of net contributions. Germany, topping the ranking, put in 12.8 billion euros more than it got out.

Poland was the biggest monetary benefactor from the EU, coming out with 8.2 billion euros earned, far ahead of Greece (3.7 billion euros) and Romania (3.4 billion euros).

But being on top of this list doesn’t have to send a country scrambling to leave the political union. In Germany, for example, support for the EU is high. While budget contributions might outweigh direct financial benefits for the country, a study by the Bertelsmann foundation suggests that the single EU market increased the average incomes of Germans by over 1,000 euros, above the EU average increase of 840 euros.