Politicians worked all night long and managed to deliver the EU budget deal for next year. As proposed by the Commission earlier this year, in 2017 the EU will spend more money on making Europe more competitive and more secure. Likewise, more money will go to providing support for the reception and integration of refugees and to addressing the root causes of migration in the countries of origin and transit. Translated in a more comprehensible language, this morning the Council and European Parliament reached agreement on a 2017 EU budget which strongly reflects the EU's main policy priorities. Total commitments are set at €157.88 billion and payments at €134.49 billion. Total commitments are set at €157.88 billion and payments at €134.49 billion. There are reason to pop a bottle of champagne and reasons to curb your enthusiasm.
More money for migration and security
Agreed commitments of €5.91 billion mean that around 11.3% more money will be available for tackling the migration crisis and reinforcing security than in 2016. The money will be used to help member states in the resettlement of refugees, the creation of reception centres, the support for integration measures and the returns of those who have no right to stay. It will also help to enhance border protection, crime prevention, counter terrorism activities and protect critical infrastructure.
Investing in growth and jobs
Commitments of €21.3 billion were agreed to boost economic growth and create new jobs under sub-heading 1a (competitiveness for growth and jobs). This is an increase of around 12% compared to 2016. This part of the budget covers instruments such as Erasmus + which increases by 19% to €2.1 billion and the European fund for strategic investments which raises by 25% to €2.7 billion. The 2017 EU budget also includes €500.00 million in commitments for the youth employment initiative to help young people to find a job. Further €500.00 million were agreed for supporting milk and other livestock farmers with additional support measures announced in July.
Curb your enthusiasm
Development assistance will receive some €3.2 billion in commitments in 2017, an increase of around 20% compared to 2016 but more than €40 million short of the Commission’s proposal.
The increases will be spent mostly on migration and asylum.
Humanitarian aid will see €163m less in commitments, a 14,7% cut from 2016.
Today, the EU agreed to increase its aid budget for next year. By mobilising additional funding beyond the limits agreed back in 2013, EU leaders recognise that the ongoing global refugee crisis requires substantial new resources.However, these extra funds do not come close to covering the EU’s full response to the refugee crisis. Much of the cost is still borne by the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. For example, humanitarian aid was cut by 14,7%. With half of humanitarian needs worldwide still unmet, this shows a lack of long-term vision for preventing future crises.
Ministers from EU member countries will vote on the budget proposal on November 29, followed by a Parliament vote on December 1. The Council vote doesn’t require unanimity, but a qualified majority of at least 55 percent of the 28 member states.
Every year the European Commission tables a draft EU budget. This year, the Commission tabled its initial proposal on 30 June 2016.
On that basis, the European Parliament and the Council each take a position. This year, the Council formally adopted its position on 12 September 2016, while the European Parliament adopted its position in plenary on 26 October 2016.
When there are differences between the positions of the European Parliament and the Council, they engage in a negotiation process known as the 'conciliation procedure'. This year, 21-day conciliation procedure ran from 28 October until 17 November.
The negotiations are conducted by a specially convened Conciliation Committee, to which the European Parliament and the Council each send 28 representatives. The European Commission - the Vice-President in charge of the budget as well as experts from the Directorate-General for Budget – plays the role of an honest broker.