Parliament approves EU’s 2014 budget and plugs 2013 payment gaps

The European Parliament approved the EU’s budget for 2014 on Wednesday. This budget is the result of the deal struck with the Council in last week’s negotiations. For payments €500 million were added to the 2014 budget, bringing the total compared to the initial Council position to €135.5 billion. Commitments were set at €142.6 billion, which is in line with the Commission’s budget proposal.
After negotiating through the night, Parliament and the Council agreed on Tuesday 12 November to remedy payments shortfalls in in the current fiscal year. This was a prerequisite for Parliament to approve the long-run budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework – MFF) for 2014-2020, because MEPs wanted to prevent the EU from starting the first year under the new MFF with a deficit. The MFF was approved yesterday.

MEPs also ensured that the EU will compensate victims of catastrophic flooding and drought in 2013 and that Parliament’s priorities for 2014 in areas such as employment, research and innovation, border management and humanitarian aid are also taken on board.

Ms Anne Jensen (ALDE, DK), who steered the 2014 budget through Parliament, described the outcome as “an austerity budget” given that it is almost 6% down on this year.

“But I am glad we managed to secure more funds for growth policies for research, education and innovation and for humanitarian aid in the Middle East”, she added.

What’s next?

EU ministers approved the 2014 budget at yesterday’s General Affairs Council.

Parliament’s approval of the MFF yesterday paved the way for its final votes on individual EU programmes, many of which are being taken this week. This is the last step enabling all the new programmes to start, on time, on 1 January 2014.

Source: European Parliament


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