Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center Party) said the agreements on the new long-term (2021-2027) budget (MFF) which were reached by the leaders of the European Union do not directly create pan-European taxes. The closest to this is the inclusion of unused plastic in the EU budget when calculating the amount to be paid by each country.
Ratas said at a press conference on Tuesday: "The decision of the MFF and the restart plan does not include an EU tax. The calculation of the state contribution in the next budget is based on one component which is plastic."
Ratas added the main component in calculating national contributions is Gross National Income (GNI). This formula is supplemented by the factor of unrecycled plastic where the state has to pay an additional 80 cents to the budget for every kilogram of unused plastic.
According to the Prime Minister, the European Commission has proposed a formula for how much plastic is calculated and Estonia has agreed to the directive. Ratas added: "I do not believe this principle is wrong – the goal is to have less unrecycled plastic. But we realized that there will be no new taxes across Europe."
He said: "The original proposal of Charles Michel, the President of the Council, was when any country wishes to receive support from the Just Transition Fund (JTF), the most affected regions of the climate action must adopt the target of national climate neutrality for 2050."
In order to get support from JTF, the country must agree to the commonly agreed climate neutrality target for 2050 in the EU. Poland is the only country that has not agreed with it.
Ratas said Estonia has the right to receive approximately €340 million through the Just Transition Fund to support Ida-Viru County, which is experiencing difficulties mainly due to its shrinking oil shale industry.
He emphasized: "In general, the restart plan sounded strong and we need to work on to get a green investment and better economy."
The Prime Minister said countries did not agree on a pan-European tax during discussions.
The European Commission will continue to address the issue of pan-European taxes in the future.
At the Council meeting, the national leaders agreed the EU's budget for the next seven years would be €1.074 trillion. In addition, a €750 billion economic recovery fund will be created. Of this, €390 billion will be given out as grants and €360 million in the form of loan aid.
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein