The European Union: The Budget

Sunday, 6 May 2018 - 02:18 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Editorial, European Union

Now it’s back to business: The European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger has presented the draft of the new EU budget and as we already know: Money can end friendships. This is no different between EU member states than between companies and private persons. However, this is not just an annual plan, but a five-year plan, this time with significantly changed circumstances to the previous plans, so that the negotiations until the unanimous decision-making will be infinitely long.

Some reasons are:

This is the initial plan. It will be interesting to see what will ultimately be implemented or how the overall result will look like, because, of course, all the usual suspects have already expressed “concerns, rejections and claims for improvement”. However, with all the expected cackling, one can remain relaxed as an observer insofar as everything will continue as usual even without a new and adopted EU budget, because there is a mechanism for it as well: From 2021 onwards, the budget adopted for the financial year 2020 (minus the UK share) would be the basis and be repeated endlessly over the coming years until a new budget has been adopted unanimously.

The European Union has a budget to pay for policies carried out at European level (such as agriculture, assistance to poorer regions (including those regions in the UK, which mostly voted in favour of the Brexit), trans-European networks, research, some overseas development aid) and for its administration, including a parliament, executive branch, and judiciary that are distinct from those of the member states. These arms administer the application of treaties, laws and agreements between the member states and their expenditure on common policies throughout the Union. According to the European Commission, 6% of expenditure is on administration, compared with 94% on policies.

The EU budget is proposed annually by the European Commission. The proposed annual budget is then reviewed and negotiated by the Council of the European Union (which represents member states’ governments) and the European Parliament (which represents EU citizens). In order for the budget to be finalised, consensus of all member states is required. The annual budget must remain within ceilings determined in advance by the Multiannual Financial Framework, laid down for a seven-year period by the Council (requiring the unanimous approval of every Member State) with the assent of the Parliament. The budget for a year is determined in advance, but final calculations of payments required from each member state are not completed until after the budget year is over and information about revenue and expenditure is available, and correction mechanisms have been applied.

Media coverage: The Guardian, 17 January 2019: MEPs back plans to cut funds for EU states who weaken rule of law, Politico.eu, 16 September 2019: Germany fights to limit EU spending in long-term budget

Read more on europa.eu – Budget, Wikipedia Budget of the European Union, VOLT Europa, United Europe and Pulse of Europe.



Overview EU series:

Budget 2014–2020
budget_en_2020


White_Paper_on_the_future_of_Europe


47244656633_en





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