Parliament seals 2014 EU budget and the spending ceiling until 2020

European Parliament. Extraordinary meeting of the Committee on Budgets on Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 in the EP in Strasbourg – The Committee first heard as statements by Alain Lamassure (EPP, FR), Chair of the EP Committee on Budgets and a cutaway by MEP Ann Jensen, EP rapporteur on the EU budget for 2014. (EP Audiovisual Services

European Parliament. Extraordinary meeting of the Committee on Budgets on Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 in the EP in Strasbourg – The Committee first heard as statements by Alain Lamassure (EPP, FR), Chair of the EP Committee on Budgets and a cutaway by MEP Ann Jensen, EP rapporteur on the EU budget for 2014. (EP Audiovisual Services).

Finally, the European Parliament, after obtaining from the Council (that is the member state governments) what was possible to squeeze out in these times of widespread austerity, yesterday approved both the 2014 budget and the 2014-2020 financial framework, which sets limits on EU’s spending for the next seven years. Yesterday, the Budgets Parliamentary Committee voted both those financial exercises.

In detail, yesterday, Parliament’s Budgets Committee approved the EU’s long-term budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework – MFF) for 2014-2020 and 2014 budget, along the lines of the deal struck earlier this week between the legislators and the member states. Parliament’s final votes on these budgets are scheduled for next week in the full house. Presumably, the largely positive vote in the Committee anticipates the plenary’s decision. The MFF was approved by 28 votes to 5 with no abstentions, while the draft amending budget 9 for 2013 (flood compensation, shortfalls in research) approved by 33 votes to 2 and 0 abstentions.

Amending budgets

Amending the 2013 budget was at the centre of disagreement between the Parliament and the Council. It concerned the built in shortcoming of EU budgetary exercises. To explain this, it is needed to analyse, in short, the very structure of EU budgets. Every November, the Council and the Parliament approve next year’s financial balances, which contain two main items; actual spending and appropriations (undertaking of liabilities). The latter are usually larger than the former. As the years pass those differences accumulate.

In September 2013 there were still unpaid bills of €3.9 billion, pending even from the 2012 exercise. This is money owed to member states, local authorities and other entities for having completed projects co-financed by the EU. Already at the beginning of 2013, the Commission had estimated that all the unpaid bills amounted to €11.2 billion, not at all a small amount. Because of this oversized magnitude of pending obligations, the Parliament feared that the Council will try to cover a part of it from 2014 resources, thus even further reducing the already cut down next year’s budgetary spending.

Insistent legislators

The Parliament has consistently stressed the need to fill the entire payment gap for 2013 prior to agreeing on the MFF, the next long-term EU budget period starting in 2014. It didn’t make sense to agree on a budget for 2014 – the first year under the new MFF – if the previous year ends with a series of unpaid bills. When the Commission tabled its first request for additional funds (€11.2 billion), the Council proposed a two-tier approach: €7.3 billion were approved early this year and the outstanding amount (€3.9 billion) was left to be settled later on in the year.

At this point, it has to be clarified that, towards the end of 2012 when the 2013 budget was discussed and approved, the Parliament, the Council and the Commission had agreed to cover all those gaps within the following year. However, the Council while approving in July to pay €7.3bn, left the €3.9bn in the air. It was exactly the €3.9bn that separated the Parliament and the Council until this week.

In its resolution of 3 July 2013 regarding the overall 2014-2020 MFF spending, the Parliament had stressed that the €3.9 billion had to come through before the end of this year otherwise the Parliament would not give its green light to the MFF and the 2014 budget. Time passed and November came. Finally, after negotiating through last Monday night, the Parliament and the Council struck a deal early on Tuesday, which remedies that €3.9bn in payment shortfalls during the current fiscal year.

In short, last Tuesday morning everything was clarified and yesterday’s vote in the Budgets Parliamentary Committee was a rather typical procedure.


the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COVID-19 pandemic: The war inside our heads

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

Coronavirus: a Disease that spreads as fastly as its fake news

Can the Tokyo Olympics help bring the world together?

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Myanmar military target civilians in deadly helicopter attack, UN rights office issues war crimes warning

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

COVID-19 and the pursuit of financial inclusion in Pakistan

Coronavirus: Commission launches data sharing platform for researchers

Infringement – Commission takes Italy to Court for its incomplete regime of access to genetic resources

Human rights champions from across the world receive top UN prize

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

How income-sharing agreements can improve access to education

Lagarde discusses the European Central Bank’s policy revamp with MEPs

Macro-Financial Assistance: Europe’s way to control Ukraine?

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

COVID – ACT III, When do I get off the stage?

SRHR and Ending HIV : Can one be achieved without the other ?

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

‘Foreign children’ in overwhelmed Syrian camp need urgent international help, says top UN official

EP survey: EU recovery funds should only go to countries respecting Rule of Law

FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s wishful gold diggers

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

How to create a transparent digital economy and rebuild consumer trust

Coronavirus reinforces the importance of empathy

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

What is the European Super League and how would it work?

State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

How African countries can benefit from plan to reform global tax

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 is an unmissable chance to put people and the planet first

Take care of your borders and then expand them

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

If you live in a big city you already smoke every day

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Coronavirus global response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Iraq and new funding

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

The world’s economy is only 9% circular. We must be bolder about saving resources

How many websites are there?

State aid: Commission approves €650 million Polish support to LOT in context of coronavirus outbreak

Nepal faces a crisis as COVID-19 stems the flow of remittances

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s