For next year’s budget, MEPs have secured better support for students, unemployed youngsters and researchers.
Commitment appropriations for 2019 total €165.8 billion; payment appropriations total €148.2 billion.
After Council formally approved the conciliation agreement with Parliament on the 2019 budget on 7 December, Parliament approved the budget on Wednesday by 451 votes to 142, with 78 abstentions. It was then signed into law by President Antonio Tajani.
“This budget is at the service of Europeans, youth, innovation, employment, security and defense. We have provided answers on two main priorities. On research, we were able to allocate an additional 150 million euros, almost 11% more than in 2018,to prepare for the future of Europe. On Erasmus, which is so dear to us, we have been able to add 240 million euros. This is the last budget of the legislature. Of the five budgets that we have negotiated with the Council, I believe it is the one that best delivers on the Parliament’s expectations. This is a victory, I hope, for Europe”, said the Chair of the Budgets committee, Jean Arthuis (ALDE, FR).
According the S&D Group today’s approval in the plenary session in Strasbourg, a progressive Budget 2019 of the European Union is now a reality. After tough negotiations with the EU Council, the S&D Group managed to strike the best possible deal that will enable the EU to concretely make a difference in the lives of thousands of citizens, workers and enterprises.
“Next year, European citizens, our institutions and municipalities, our research bodies, young people, businesses and SMEs, those that innovate, will have many more resources at their disposal. We will be able to better protect the environment, fight climate change or tackle migration. Parliament can be proud of the budget we have obtained, because it delivers on the priorities we set out in March and then in July of this year”, said lead rapporteur (Commission section) Daniele Viotti (S&D, IT).
“15 years ago, the budget was still at 1.2% of the EU’s gross national income (GNI), now we are at 0.9%. While 30-50% of GNI is spent at national level, the EU has remained well below 1%. We have made savings in the area of pre-accession funds for Turkey, but also in other areas, such as building costs. This shows that taxpayers’ money is being used carefully in the negotiations”, said Paul Rübig (EPP, AT), rapporteur for the other sections.
Certain actions have to be managed over several years (e.g. financing a research project lasting 2-3 years). The EU budget therefore distinguishes between commitment appropriations (the cost of all legal obligations contracted during the current financial year, which might bear costs in the following years) and payment appropriations (money actually paid out during the current year, possibly to implement commitments entered into in previous years).