“Combining the legacy of the past with helping Europe recover from the crisis, and this with scarcer resources”.
This is how EU budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski describes the EU’s 2015 draft budget as adopted by the Commission today.
The bulk of the commitments projected at EUR 145.6 billion is for future projects that make Europe stronger economically whereas some 40 percent of the payments still cover EU funded projects from the 2007-2013 financial period. Also the Commission is proposing a further 1 percent reduction in its staff numbers, the third such cut in three years.
“The EU budget is 28 countries pooling together a small part of their resources to the greatest benefit of more than 500 million Europeans, adds Janusz Lewandowski. It helps avoid duplications of efforts at the national level and makes each of our member states stronger as combined efforts bring better results than fragmented action. The 2015 draft budget amounts to 1 percent of combined GNI of all Member States and manages to take into account present and future major issues such as the Ukrainian crisis or the need to strengthen the EU’s energy security by refocusing its scarce resources.”
The proposed increase of 2.1 percent in commitments and 1.4 percent in payments (total payments: EUR 142.1 billion) is virtually absorbed by the estimated inflation rate for 2015.
Commitment appropriations focus on the new programmes (2014-2020 MFF) and almost 60 percent of the proposed amount is dedicated to programmes that support Europe’s research and innovation, youth and businesses.
The lion’s share of payment appropriations goes to areas that boost Europe’s economic growth and jobs (+29.5 percent compared to 2014) such as research (Horizon 2020), trans-European networks for energy, transport and ICT (Connecting Europe Facility) or the Youth Employment Initiative.
Other areas that see an increase in payments are the asylum, migration and integration fund (+140 percent) and protecting Europeans’ health and consumers (+20 percent).
Following today’s adoption by the Commission of the 2015 draft budget, the Council (Member States) will adopt its position on it, followed by the European Parliament. This will be followed by a 21-day conciliation period to find a compromise agreement between the Council and the Parliament.
Payments = EUR 142 billion
Commitments = EUR 145.6 billion