1. Introduction

The European Union (EU) uses national accounts data for a number of administrative and economic purposes. Gross national income (GNI) is one of the four measures used by the EU and is calculated in accordance with the European System of Accounts. GNI is used to set the EU budget and to calculate part of member states’ contributions to the EU budget and is based on the European System of Accounts 2010: ESA 2010.

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2. UK transactions with the institutions of the European Union

Table 11.1 shows payments flowing between the EU and the UK. The first part of the table shows the payments flowing into the UK in the form of EU expenditure. The second part of the table shows the UK contribution to the EU budget, which depends on UK GNI. An explanatory note detailing GDP, GNI and the UK’s contribution to the EU budget was published on 8 September 2015.

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3. Data to monitor government deficit and debt

The convergence criteria for Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) are set out in the 1992 Treaty on European Union (The Maastricht Treaty). The Treaty, plus the Stability and Growth Pact, requires member states to avoid excessive government deficits – defined as general government net borrowing and gross debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). The Treaty does not determine what constitutes “excessive”. This is agreed by the Economic and Finance Council (ECOFIN).

Member states report their planned and actual deficits and the levels of their debt to the European Commission. Data to monitor excessive deficits are supplied in accordance with EU legislation.

The UK submitted the estimates in Table 11.a to the European Commission in October 2017.

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Contact details for this Compendium

Bob Richards or Craig Taylor
bob.richards@ons.gov.uk, trade@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456424, +44 (0)1633 456333