For next year’s EU budget, MEPs secured better and more effective support for addressing the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic recovery process.
In a deal with member states on Monday, 14 November, Parliament obtained €1.05 billion for its priorities on top of what the Commission had initially proposed in the draft budget. MEPs increased funding for programmes and policies they see as vital for addressing the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, contributing to the post-pandemic recovery and strengthening the green and digital transitions, in line with the priorities Parliament set out in its guidelines for 2023.
The 2023 budget was adopted with 492 votes to 66 and 46 abstentions.
Consequences of the war in Ukraine
MEPs secured additional funding for programmes including: Erasmus+with €120 million to support students and teachers from Ukraine; humanitarian aid, plus €150 million; the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fundwith a €36.5 million top-up; the Border Management and Visa Instrument, plus €10 million; the “Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument” (NDICI – Global Europe) for the EU’s southern and eastern neighbourhood with €280 million; and Military Mobility with €58.8 million.
Energy and climate
MEPs managed to increase funding for encouraging EU energy independence and to support citizens and SMEs with their high energy bills, while backing the green transition and biodiversity. Programmes with additional support include: the Horizon Europeresearch programme (+€10 million); the Connecting Europe Facility, which funds the construction of high-quality and sustainable trans-European transport and energy networks (+€103.5 million); the environment and climate action LIFE programme (+€30 million).
The lessons of the pandemic: health, better preparedness, culture and values
MEPs restored a €200 million cut by the Council to the EU4Health programme and obtained another €7.5 million, their argument for additional funding being that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, resulting in the need to support national health systems to become more resilient. Further priorities Parliament fought for and obtained additional support include: the EU Civil Protection Mechanism(UCPM, +€41.4 million); the Creative Europe Programme (+€7.5 million); the Rights and Values programme (+€3 million) and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office(EPPO, +€2.5 million).
“Besides the necessary and obviously urgent spending on the consequences of the war in Ukraine, we are also investing through the 2023 budget in areas where the EU can make a real difference. Looking beyond our negotiating success, I would also like to see a budget that is more focused than fragmented, one that shows our ambition to make Europe a leader in research, development and innovation,” said Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets. (See the video of the speech here).
Nicolae Ştefănuță (RENEW, RO), general rapporteur for the EU budget 2023 (for section III – Commission) said: “Right now, somewhere in Europe, a mother is using the oven to cook for her children only once a week, so as not to consume gas, and a student from Sibiu is giving up plans to study in France, because of inflation. To help our citizens, we have fought for a stronger budget in these negotiations, and obtained €1 billion more than was originally planned. This means more funding to tackle the energy crisis, the consequences of the war in Ukraine, climate change, public health, and boosting European rights and values.” (See the video of the speech here)
“I am very pleased we have been able to set a clear focus on cybersecurity for the EU institutions and achieved real investment, with a clear commitment to work together strongly in this area in the future. These negotiations show that we must also be able to see future challenges reflected in the budget’s priorities,” said Niclas Herbst (EPP, DE), rapporteur for the other sections. (See the video of the speech here)
Given the need to manage work and action taken over several years, the EU budget distinguishes between commitment appropriations (the cost of all legal obligations contracted during the current financial year, possibly bearing consequences in the following years) and payment appropriations (money actually paid out during the current year, possibly to implement commitments entered into in previous years).
Around 94% of the EU’s budget goes to citizens, regions, cities, farmers and businesses.