For next year’s EU budget, MEPs have secured better support to protect the climate, boost research, infrastructure investments and help the young.
Parliament has obtained altogether an additional €850 million for its priorities.
- Over half a billion euros more are ear-marked for climate-related expenditure;
- Plus €302 million for research projects;
- Plus €133 million for network infrastructure investments (Connecting Europe Facility)
- Plus €50 million for Erasmus+ and plus 28.3 million for the Youth Employment Initiative (with an additional €50 million to be added in 2020 if necessary);
Overall commitment appropriations for 2020 total €168.7 billion (1.5% increase as compared to 2019); payment appropriations total €153.6 billion (+3.4% over 2019).
Council formally approved the agreement reached with Parliament on 25 November, Parliament approved the budget on Wednesday by 543 votes to 136, with 23 abstentions. It was then signed into law by EP President David Sassoli.
Members of the parliamentary negotiating team made the following statements during the plenary debate:
Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets:
“This is a strong, responsible and future-oriented budget. We must have the courage to continue in this direction in the future. We must now opt for a long-term budget for 2021-2027 that does indeed take into account, in an explicit, clear and bold manner, our citizens’ needs. A budget that focusses on innovation, competitiveness, climate, infrastructure, security and migration management – which are the areas where Europe can absolutely offer added value compared to actions at national level.”
Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), lead rapporteur (Commission section of the budget): “€850 million more for climate change, especially in the areas of research and innovation, young people and digitalisation. We have achieved a great deal to create jobs and increase the competitiveness of the European Union. We have succeeded in increasing the budget lines dealing with climate protection by €504 million and in ensuring that next year more than 21% of expenditure will be climate-related. This clearly exceeds the EU’s 20% target.”
Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES), rapporteur for the other sections: “This is a very positive agreement for the European Union. But we are still far away from the 1.3% GNI budget we are demanding for the long-term financial framework 2021-2027; far from the ambitious budget that could be a turning point in the fight against climate change and inequalities.”
Payments refer to what is to be concretely spent in the year of the budget, i.e. 2020. Commitments, on the other hand, are the whole amount that can be spent over several years for a given project or programme.
The European Parliament and the Council had 14 days from the date of the informal agreement (18 November) to approve the joint text. Once approved by both institutions, the President of the EP signs the budget and declares it definitively adopted.