EU Budget 2021 deal: supporting the recovery

(Lena Balk, Unsplash)

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


MEPs have fought for and obtained better support for key EU programmes creating jobs, tackling the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and boosting climate action.

On Friday, the negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council reached a common understanding on the 2021 EU Budget.

The preliminary figures are €164.3 billion in commitment appropriations and €166.1 billion in payment appropriations. Detailed figures will be available later.

For a more competitive Europe, creating jobs and investing in the EU’s future

MEPs succeeded in reinforcing, on top of the Commission’s original budget proposal, programmes they considered key to boosting growth and jobs, reflecting widely agreed European Union priorities, namely Digital Europe (+25.7 million) and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for transport infrastructure (+€60.3 million).

Strengthen respect for Europe’s values and boosting climate action

As a supplementary effort to fight climate change, the reinforcements obtained by the EP for the LIFE programme (+€42 million) aim at contributing from the outset to reaching the target of 30% of climate-relevant spending in the EU budget for the 2021-2027 period.


The Rights and Values programme will receive an additional €6.6 million, and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), an independent Union body aiming to fight crimes against the Union budget will benefit from an extra €7.3 million.

MFF top-ups: supporting the young, EU research and healthcare

Other reinforcements for 2021 reflect the top-ups to selected key EU programmes Parliament obtained in the deal with Council on the next long-term EU budget (MFF) 2021-2027.

This is the case for Erasmus+ (+€175.1 million), Horizon Europe (research programme, +€20 million) and the EU4Health programme, the EU’s response to COVID-19, by a further €74.3 million. EU4Health will support medical and healthcare staff, patients and health systems. Similarly, the commitment appropriations for humanitarian aid have been increased by €25 million and for supporting the EU’s southern neighbourhood by 10.2 million.

Quotes

“I’m pleased we could reach a swift agreement in the interest of European citizens in these challenging times. With the top-ups for some of the future-looking programmes agreed in the multi-annual framework just weeks ago, we obtained budget increases for other programmes with proven European added value. These extra investments in, for example, the trans-European transport networks and digital Europe all answer to real needs and are in line with the expectations of EU citizens”, said the Chair of the Budgets committee Johan van Overtveldt (ECR, BE).

“Parliament and Council today reached an agreement on the 2021 EU budget. 164 billion euros to protect citizens, reduce the immediate impact of the crisis and prepare for a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. In the last two days of the negotiations, Parliament secured an additional 183 million euros for its priorities: health, climate and employment. Considering the very rigid framework, this is a good result. Faced with governments that were unwilling to give up one cent, Parliament did its utmost and obtained additional increases. But, in all conscience, we all know that this budget is not up to the task. It was the maximum that could be obtained given the multiannual budget that was negotiated with heads of state who decide unanimously.

But the good news is that there is a solution that can mobilise more than 50 billion euros per year for health, climate and employment, and that will not be blocked by the unanimity rule: taxing speculation by relaunching the existing reinforced cooperation on this subject. I call on the leaders of these pioneering countries, starting with Ms Merkel and Mr Macron, to get to work on this tax without delay”, said the lead rapporteur (Commission section) Pierre Larrouturou (S&D, FR).

“Thanks to the united position of the EP, we have reached a very good political agreement on the 2021 budget of the European Union institutions, despite a difficult context of crisis. My concern throughout these negotiations was to ensure that all the institutions of the Union, i.e. the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Ombudsman, the Committee of the Regions, the Economic and Social Committee, the European Data Protection Supervisor,…, have sufficient resources and staff to enable them to fulfill their missions as well as possible and to function optimally. This was made possible following our commitment to save money in connection with the changes in our activities during the COVID-19 pandemic”, said the rapporteur for the other sections, Oliver Chastel (RENEW,BE).

Next steps


In the absence of an agreement in Council on the EU’s long-term budget (MFF, Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027), the two arms of the EU’s budgetary authority, Parliament and Council, have not formalised their deal. Once the MFF is adopted, Commission will propose the substance of the agreement as second draft budget.

Once Council has formally adopted the compromise in the form of this second draft budget, it will be submitted for approval to the Committee on Budgets, then voted on in plenary in the European Parliament and signed into law by its President.

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