Commission proposes a pragmatic and focused long-term budget with modernised programmes to deliver efficiently on the EU's priorities
It is an honest response to today's reality in which Europe is expected to play a greater role in providing security and stability in an unstable world, at a time when Brexit will leave a sizeable gap in the EU budget. The Commission's proposal aligns the Union's budget to the Commission's political priorities – as reflected in the positive agenda set out by President Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union address on 14 September 2016 and agreed by the EU27 Leaders in Bratislava on 16 September 2016 and in the Rome Declaration of 25 March 2017. By focusing on the areas where the Union is best placed to deliver, it is a budget for a Europe that protects, empowers and defends.
Overall, the Commission proposes a long-term budget of €1.135 billion in commitments (expressed in 2018 prices) over the period from 2021 to 2027, equivalent to 1.11% of the EU27's gross national income. This level of commitments translates into €1.105 billion (or 1.08% of gross national income) in payments in 2018 prices.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today is an important moment for our Union. The new budget is an opportunity to shape our future as a new, ambitious Union of 27 bound together by solidarity. With today's proposal we have put forward a pragmatic plan for how to do more with less. The economic wind in our sails gives us some breathing space but does not shelter us from having to make savings in some areas. We will ensure sound financial management through the first ever rule of law mechanism. This is what it means to act responsibly with our taxpayers' money. The ball is now in the court of Parliament and Council. I strongly believe we should aim to have agreement before the European Parliament elections next year.”
To fund new and pressing priorities, current levels of funding will need to be increased. Investing now in areas such as research and innovation, young people, the digital economy, border management, security and defence will contribute to prosperity, sustainability and security in the future. For instance, the budget of Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps will be doubled.
At the same time, the Commission has critically examined where savings can be made and efficiency improved. The Commission is proposing that funding for the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy is moderately reduced – both by around 5% – to reflect the new reality of a Union at 27. These policies will be modernised to ensure they can still deliver with less and even serve new priorities. For example, Cohesion Policy will have an increasingly important role to play in supporting structural reform and in the long-term integration of migrants.
The result of these changes will be a rebalancing of the budget and an increased focus on the areas where the EU budget can make the biggest difference.
For More Information: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/news/eu-budget-future-2018-may-02_en.