“An appalling way to behave”
Aside from David Cameron’s ill-tempered protest at the news that the UK owed an additional €2 billion to the EU budget by December 1st, there is not much further to be said on the matter. As underlined in this Commentary, the basic point is simple: clear rules on the contributions of member states were agreed, by common consent, whose implementation essentially involved putting numbers into a spreadsheet. This was done expressly in order to remove the political element out of a potentially contentious process. Those countries that are now contesting the numbers are acting in bad faith. The EU cannot work if commonly agreed rules are thrown overboard whenever they do not suit a large member state.
Jorge Núñez Ferrer is Associate Researcher at CEPS and Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS. See also a companion Commentary by Jorge Núñez Ferrer entitled “What Cameron should have known: Q&A”, 4 November 2014.