In 2019, total government expenditure in the EU amounted to 46.6% of gross domestic product, 40% in Cyprus and 47.5% in Greece. For the EU, this share has remained unchanged from the previous year, but has fallen steadily since its last peak in 2009 (50.7% of GDP), according to data released today by Eurostat, the EU's statistical office.
Among the main functions of general government spending in the EU, “social protection” was by far the most important in 2019, corresponding to 19.3% of GDP in the EU, 19.8% in Greece and 12.4% in Cyprus .
The next most important sectors were “health” (7.0% in the EU, 5.3% in Greece and 4.0% in Cyprus), “general public services” (5.8% in the EU, 7.9 % in Greece and 7.5% in Cyprus) such as foreign affairs and public debt transactions, “education” (4.7% in the EU, 4.0% in Greece and 5.4% in Cyprus) and economic cases “(4.4% in the EU, 4.0% in Greece and 4.6% in Cyprus).
The functions “public order and security” (1.7% in the EU, 2.1% in Greece and 1.7% in Cyprus), “defense” (1.2% in the EU, 2.0% in Greece and 1 , 8% in Cyprus), “leisure, culture and religion” (1.2%, 0.8% in Greece and 0.9% in Cyprus), “environmental protection” (0.8% in the EU, 1, 4% in Greece and 0.3% in Cyprus) and “housing and community benefits” (0.6% in the EU 0.2% in Greece and 0.6% in Cyprus) had a more limited weight.
Social protection represented the most important area of general government spending in 2019 in all EU Member States.
The ratio of government social protection expenditure to GDP ranged from less than 10% in the EU Member States to Ireland (8.9%) to almost a quarter in Finland (24.0%) and France (23.9%). %). In Cyprus this percentage was 12.4% and in Greece 19.8%.
Five EU Member States – Finland, France, Denmark, Italy and Austria – have spent at least 20% of GDP on social protection, while Ireland, Malta, Bulgaria and Romania each spent less than 12 % of GDP in social protection.
In 2019, Austria (8.3%), Denmark (8.2%) and France (8.0%) recorded the highest percentages of GDP devoted to health among EU Member States.
The highest percentages of GDP on public spending on public services were observed in Hungary (8.2%), Greece and Finland (both 7.9%).
For education, the highest shares were recorded in Sweden (6.9%), Denmark (6.3%), Belgium (6.2%) and Estonia (6.0%). The highest share of public spending on economic affairs in 2019 was recorded in Croatia (8.2% of GDP) and Hungary (8.0%).
Philenews / ΚΥΠΕ