EU Budget 2020 deal: Investing more in climate action, youth and research

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(Frederic Köberl, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs have fought for and obtained better support for climate action, research, SMEs and the young in next year’s EU budget, after a second round of talks with Council on Monday.

On Monday evening, the negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the 2020 EU Budget, shortly before the deadline of the conciliation period, ending at midnight. Parliament has obtained in total €850 million for its priorities on top of what the Commission has proposed.
The preliminary figures are €168.7 billion in commitment appropriations and €153.6 billion in payment appropriations. Detailed figures will be available later.
Climate
Parliament secured an increase of over €500 million on investments to protecting the climate in the next year’s EU budget, compared to the initial proposal of the Commission. This concerns climate-related research projects and programmes such as the LIFE programme, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), financing infrastructure projects, climate-related SME support but also in the areas of development cooperation, and in support of EU neighbours in the East and South.
Youth
The Youth Employment Initiative will be strengthened with €23.8 million, including a joint statement by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission pledging that this will be topped up with €50 million in the summer of 2020 if the Commission confirms this is necessary. In addition, the Erasmus+ exchange programme will be increased by €50 million.
Other figures will be available soon.

 

Quotes
Jan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets: “I am happy to note that we have succeeded to broker a deal. This is a good sign showing that the EU institutions can deliver. We note with satisfaction that the net increase compared to the Draft Budget presented by the Commission is the biggest under this Multiannual Financial Framework. It is also mainly driven by the priorities which Parliament identified with a big majority of its Members, which in turn shows its added value. In total, between 2019 and 2020, climate-related spending on innovation, research and infrastructure is increased by almost €900 million and the Horizon 2020 research programme by €1.1 billion.”
Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), lead rapporteur (Commission section of the budget): “We have succeeded in adding €850 million for the Parliament’s priorities to the Commission’s draft budget: climate (over €500 million), innovation, research and development and youth. In particular, the research programme Horizon 2020 is increased by €402 million and the Connecting Europe Facility by €133 million thanks to the efforts and the united position of Parliament.”
“I would like to thank the Finnish Presidency for the efforts to bring us to the compromise, which, as any compromise, is not entirely satisfactory. We remain disappointed by the attitude of net payers, who are not willing to put money where the mouth is and put an end to this everlasting discrepancy between the big announcements of the leaders and the reality-check of their finance ministries. We believe and will continue to believe in politics”, Ms Hohlmeier added.
Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES), rapporteur for the other sections: “Faced with an appetite of some for cuts in administration, we managed to secure appropriate levels for the good functioning of the EU institutions.”

 

Next steps
After Council has formally adopted the compromise, it will be submitted for approval to the Committee on Budgets, then voted on in plenary in the European Parliament (during the November session in Strasbourg) and signed into law by its President.
Around 93% of the EU’s budget goes to citizens, regions, cities, farmers and businesses. The EU’s administrative expenses account for approximately 7% of the total.

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