The European Union: The Budget

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

(Latest update: 28 May 2020) 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, Politico.eu, 30 October 2019: Commission gives up on EU budget deal in 2019, Politico.eu, 4 November 2019: The EU’s budget tribes explained, European Parliamant, 15 November 2019: EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended, Council of the EU, 18 November 2019: 2020 EU budget: Council and Parliament reach agreement, Reuters, 19 November 2019: EU reaches deal on 2020 budget, boosts funds for climate change, EU borders, Politico.eu, 2 December 2019: EU budget fight heats up, Politico.eu, 6 December 2019: What rich countries get wrong about the EU budget, Reuters, 12 December 2019: EU leaders offer money to reluctant east to push 2050 climate neutrality, Politico, 24 January 2020: Mafia harvest rewards from EU farm funds, Politico, 25 January 2020: Charles Michel calls special summit on EU budget, Politico.eu, 2 February 2020: 15 countries fight to protect EU cohesion funding, Politico.eu, 6 February 2020: EU budget battle joined ahead of summit showdown, Politico.eu, 13 February 2020: ‘Epic battle’ over green farming divides EU departments, Politico.eu, 14 February 2020: 8 takeaways from the new EU budget proposal, The Guardian, 16 February 2020: ‘Fighting like ferrets in a bag’ as EU tries to plug Brexit cash hole, Politico.eu, 18 February 2020: EU budget talks: The essential guide, Politico.eu, 19 February 2020: Merkel: EU budget talks will be ‘very tough and difficult’, Politico.eu, 19 February 2020: Charles Michel plots ‘miracle’ EU budget deal, Politico.eu, 19 February 2020: Top 5 EU budget tricks, Politico.eu, 19 February 2020: EU budget summit: Live blog, Politico.eu, 20 February 2020: Struggle over Rail Baltica spills into Brussels budget fray, Politico.eu, 20 February 2020: Mario Monti: Don’t let the ‘frugals’ rule the budget, Politico.eu, 20 February 2020: Parliament’s EU budget strategy: Go big, then go home, Politico.eu, 21 February 2020: More slumber than numbers at EU budget summit, BBC, 21 February 2020: Talks end amid stand-off between ‘frugal’ and other nations, The Guardian, 21 February 2020: EU summit collapses as leaders struggle to fill €75bn Brexit hole, Gulf Times, 22 February 2020: EU leaders make last-ditch push for budget ‘miracle’, Politico.eu, 22 February 2020: No budging from leaders means no EU budget (yet), Politico.eu, 30 March 2020: EU budget to be at ‘heart’ of coronavirus response, von der Leyen says, Politico.eu, 5 April 2020: EU budget must be geared for coronavirus recovery, says von der Leyen, Politico.eu, 6 April 2020: EU budget won’t be corona-era Marshall Plan, Politico.eu, 8 April 2020: Eurogroup talks to save EU economy gridlocked over credit lines, corona bonds, Politico.eu, 15 April 2020: Von der Leyen calls for ‘huge’ initiative within EU budget, Politico.com, 17 April 2020: EU should back ‘recovery bonds’ in response to coronavirus, says European Parliament, Politico.eu, 20 April 2020: Merkel backs EU bonds to fight coronavirus crisis, Der Spiegel, 20 April 2020: European Commissioner for Financial and Economic Affairs: “The EU Cannot Afford to Get Bogged Down in Past Discussions”, Politico.eu, 21 April 2020: Joint response to coronavirus crisis will benefit all EU countries, Politico.eu, 21 April 2020: EU leaders draft coronavirus recovery plan, Politico.eu, 22 April 2020: If you want a bailout in Europe, don’t use tax havens, Reuters, 23 April 2020: EU’s von der Leyen sees 2-3 year hike in EU budget firepower, Politico.eu, 23 April 2020: If you want a bailout in Europe, don’t use tax havens, Reuters, 23 April 2020: EU leaders agree on need for EU recovery fund, says Merkel after talks, Politico.eu, 23 April 2020: Commission to present budget and coronavirus recovery plan on May 6, France24, 23 April 2020: EU agrees trillion euro Covid-19 rescue deal – but procrastinates on details, NPR, 23 April 2020: EU Leaders Fail To Agree On Coronavirus Economic Recovery Program, The Guardian, 23 April 2020: Coronavirus delivers a ‘moment of truth’ on the meaning of the EU, Irish Times, 24 April 2020: Coronavirus: EU leaders reach agreement on everything but the big stuff, Politico.eu, 24 April 2020: EU leaders back budget reboot for coronavirus recovery, Al Jazeera, 24 April 2020: EU urged to attach ‘green strings’ to members’ cash handouts, Politico.eu, 30 April 2020: MEPs to Czech PM: Bow out of EU budget talks over conflicts of interest, France24, 27 May 2020: EU Commission proposes €750 billion recovery fund in wake of Covid-19 crisis (congratulations to this sensationally good proposal with a lot of foresight and future orientation or according to the American motto “go big or go home!”), BBC, 27 May 2020: Von der Leyen calls €750bn recovery fund ‘Europe’s moment’, CNN, 27 May 2020: EU plans to raise $825 billion for coronavirus relief. Hard-hit countries need help soon, The Guardian, 27 May 2020: European commission: ‘Defining moment’ as EU executive pushes for €500bn in grants, The New York Times, 27 May 2020: A €750 Billion Virus Recovery Plan Thrusts Europe Into a New Frontier, The Washington Post, 27 May 2020: E.U. proposes $825 billion coronavirus rescue plan giving Brussels power to raise money for first time, BBC, 28 May 2020: EU budget: Who pays most in and who gets most back?.

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


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