What is the extent of unused funds held by the European Union; and why they are not being returned to member states in proportion to their contribution to the European Union budget?Surely, the answer is that any surplus is handed over to our glorious MEPs to do what they will. But no.
Any surplus from one year's European Union (EU) budget is returned to member states in the following year. This serves to reduce the amount required from a member state to fund the following year's budget, in line with its share of gross national income-based contributions.Of course, that is chicken feed in relation to our deficit but it would be good to know what happens to the money.
The surplus from the 2010 EU budget amounts to €4.539 billion (£3.907 billion) and will reduce the UK contribution to the 2011 EU budget by €639 million (£550 million).