|Member state||Per capita |
(of national GDP)
|Total amount |
(in million euros)
One William Gruff left this comment to my post The Looting of Italy:
Italy is not and has never been a nett contributor to the EU. Not a nett contributor means not a contributor at all in precisely the way that being a public sector worker means not a tax payer. In the same way, Scotland makes no contribution to the 'U'K, despite partisan claims to the contrary.This sums up the kind of widespread ignorance and prejudice about Italy, largely due to media distortions, that my Italian journalist friend Alessandra Nucci laments in her article, "The Looting of Italy", that attracted that comment.
The comment requires a documented reply.
Above is a table for the year 2009 reproduced from Wikipedia, based on research by Deutsche Bank Research. The net contributors are shown in blue.
The four largest net contributors in absolute terms are Germany, France, Italy, UK.Only Italy and Germany are among the four largest net contributors in all categories. It's also easy to see from the table that in absolute terms Italy contributes almost double the net receipts from the UK, the country from which our commenter friend William Gruff hails.
The four largest net contributors in per capita terms are Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy.
The four largest net contributors as a proportion of GDP are Denmark, Italy, Germany, Finland.
As you can see, in total amount Italy is third, little behind France, which Italy, though, overtakes in terms of per capita contributions. As a proportion of GDP Italy comes before both Germany and France, and is second only to Denmark, an economic lightweight compared to Italy.
Also observe how Italy is usually placed by the international media together with Spain, Portugal and Greece, which are among the largest net recipients - along with Luxembourg and some Eastern-European countries -, therefore at the other end of the spectrum.
A table showing member states' net contributions to the EU’s annual budget for the period from 2000 to 2011, compiled by the European Commission, can be found here. Again, somewhat counterintuitively, if the figure is negative it means that the country has received fewer payments from the EU than it should and is therefore a net contributor to the EU’s budget.
This table shows again that, except in 2000, Italy has been a large net contributor all these years.
Even the German news magazine Der Spiegel wrote at the end of 2012, accompanying the article with a clear graph:
Italy is the country that most contributes to the European budget...
Compared to the 2011 Gross Domestic Product, no other country has contribuited so much to the European budget as Italy...
...but, despite its strong debt, [Italy] has not yet received a cent from the various European "parachutes".