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Glossary

Classification of expenditure

This refers to the distinction made between Union expenditure of which the underlying principle and the amount are legally determined by the treaties, secondary legislation, conventions, international treaties or private contracts ("compulsory" expenditure) and expenditure for which the budgetary authority is free to decide the amount as it sees fit ("non-compulsory" expenditure). The question of whether expenditure is to be considered compulsory or non-compulsory has long been a source of friction between the two arms of the budgetary authority, the Council and the European Parliament. The latter only had the final say on non-compulsory expenditure. The Lisbon Treaty removes the distinction between compulsory expenditure and non-compulsory expenditure, thus placing the European Parliament on an equal footing with the Council in its role as joint holder of the budgetary authority.

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