An agreement was reached on the 2016 EU budget under extraordinary circumstances as the world witnessed the terrible attacks in Paris. The EU institutions have taken their responsibility by concluding a deal well ahead of the deadline. Before finalising the agreement in the early hours of Saturday, negotiators observed a minute of silence for the victims of the attacks.
The agreement significantly strengthens the EU response to the refugee crisis both within and outside the EU. More money will go to aid for refugees in our neighbourhood. The budget will boost investment in competitiveness, jobs and growth, supporting the recovery of the European economy.
"We have reached agreement on the EU budget under the shadow of a terrible tragedy in Paris. At a moment when Europe is under pressure on a number of fronts, and must stand united, we are focusing resources on priorities. In a tight budget we include a significant increase to deal with the refugee crisis and more investment to create growth and jobs. We are working to get the best possible results for European taxpayers", said Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources, Kristalina Georgieva.
The 2016 EU budget is set at € 155 billion in commitments and € 144 billion in payment credits.Some key features include:
- More than € 4 billion to address the refugee crisis both in the EU and in the countries where refugees are coming from. This brings the total funding for the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016 to close to € 10 billion.
- Nearly half of funds (€ 69.8 billion in commitments) will be to stimulate growth, employment and competitiveness.
- € 2 billion in commitments and € 500 million in payments for the guarantee fund of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), to unlock € 315 billion in investment for Europe.
- Increasing competitiveness through research and innovation with programmes like Horizon 2020 (€ 10 billion in payments in 2016, up 11.6% from 2015).
- € 1.8 billion in payments (30% more than 2015) for Erasmus+, the European programme for education, training, youth and sport, which will help over 4 million people to work and study across the EU in 2014-2020.
EU budget 2016 (in million euro):
APPROPRIATIONS BY HEADING
Budget 2016 (nominal change in % compared to 2015)
1. Smart and inclusive growth:
69 841.2 (-10.4%)
66 262.5 (-0.9%)
Competitiveness for growth and jobs
19 010.0 (8.3%)
17 418.3 (10.7%)
Economic, social and territorial cohesion
50 831.2 (-15.8%)
48 844.3 (-4.5%)
2. Sustainable Growth: natural resources
62 484.2 (-2.2%)
55 120.8 (-1.5%)
Market related expenditure and direct aids
42 220.3 (-2.8%)
42 212.0 (-2.8%)
3. Security and Citizenship
4 052.0 (60.7%)
3 022.3 (56.8%)
4. Global Europe
9 167.0 (5.2%)
10 155.6 (35.8%)
8 935.2 (3.2%)
8 935.1 (3.2%)
Other special Instruments*
155 004.2 (-4.5%)
143 885.3 (1.8%)
In % of EU-28 GNI
Every year the European Commission tables a draft EU budget. This year, the Commission tabled its initial proposal on 27 May 2015 and amended it twice since: first on 26 June to reflect the agreement on EFSI and then on 14 October to increase the support for EU farmers and refugees.
On that basis, the European Parliament and the Council each take a position. This year, the Council prepared its position in July and formally adopted it on 4 September 2015, while the European Parliament adopted its position in plenary on 28 October 2015.
When there are differences between the positions of the European Parliament and the Council, they engage in a negotiation process known as the 'conciliation procedure'.
The negotiations are conducted by a specially convened Conciliation Committee, to which the European Parliament and the Council each send 28 representatives. The European Commission - the Vice-President in charge of the budget as well as experts from the Directorate-General for Budget - is also present. The Commission acts as honest broker, and strives to facilitate an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council.
This year, negotiations started on 29 October and were supposed to last until 18 November but an agreement was already found in the early morning of 14 November.
To seal the compromise reached in the budgetary talks, the Council must approve the agreed text (on 24 November), followed by the Parliament (on 25 November).