Commission proposes budget with focus on jobs, investments, migration and security
The Commission today proposed a draft budget for 2018 of €161 billion in commitments to stimulate the creation of more jobs, especially for young people, and to boost growth and strategic investments. Building on the actions already undertaken in previous years, next year’s EU budget will continue dealing effectively with the migration challenge, both inside and outside the EU. Improved reporting will enhance the focus on concrete results which will be achieved thanks to EU funding.
Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, in charge of budget and human resources, said: ” With this budget we want to strike the right balance between keeping our past commitments regarding major EU programmes and addressing new challenges, while enhancing EU added value. We try to make sure that more young Europeans will be able to find jobs and that more key investments will be made on the ground. Demonstrating tangible results and making a difference in the daily lives of Europeans continues to drive all EU action .”
The proposed budget operates within the limitations set by the European Parliament and Member States in the Multiannual Financial Framework — yet under the assumption that the Council will formally adopt the already agreed mid-term revision of that Framework quickly following the elections in the United Kingdom on 8 June. Otherwise, some of the additional proposed expenditure – like the remaining €700 million for the Youth Employment Initiative during 2018-2020 – would be at risk and the Commission would probably need to use budget from the agriculture heading to pay for additional amounts devoted to security and migration. The European Parliament and the European Union Member States will now jointly discuss this proposal.
Boosting jobs and investments
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Juncker Plan, is backed by an EU budget guarantee, complemented by an allocation of the European Investment Bank’s own capital. It aims to support jobs and spur growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources to harness private investment. It is already expected to mobilise €194 billion in investments to date. In 2018, the Commission proposes to provision the EFSI guarantee fund with a further €2 billion.
The Structural and Investment funds remain the main investment instruments of the EU supporting SMEs and actions mainly in the areas of research and innovation, transport, environment and rural development. The EU budget will provide €55.4 billion for Structural and Investment funds for regions and Member States and almost €59.6 billion for farmers and rural development.
After a slow start in the first years, the 2014-2020 EU structural and investment programmes are expected to reach cruising speed in 2018, as per the commitments agreed by the Member States and the European Parliament. This explains the increase by 8.1% of overall payments, in comparison to the 2017 budget.
The promotion of sustainable development will also guide the action of the EU budget outside the Union, which is being significantly reinforced as regards neighbouring countries. The new European Fund for Sustainable Development is thus expected to leverage additional financing, in particular from the private sector.
The draft EU budget includes two amounts for each programme to be financed — commitments and payments. ‘Commitments’ refer to the funding that can be agreed in contracts in a given year; ‘payments’ to the money actually paid out. In the draft 2018 budget, commitments represent €161 billion (up 1.4% from 2017) and payments €145 billion (up 8.1% from 2017, due to the 2014-2020 EU structural and investment programmes reaching cruising speed in 2018, after a slow start in the first years).
For More Information
– EU Results (online collection of EU funded projects)