eu budget

Last week, during a marathon meeting running into the early hours, the EU institutions reached an agreement on the 2018 EU budget for the European Union directing money to where the needs are. The biggest part of the EU budget will go to stimulate the creation of jobs, especially for young people, and to boost growth, strategic investments and convergence. The EU will also continue supporting the efforts to effectively deal with the migration challenge, both inside and outside of the EU.

The programme of greening payments to farmers may no longer have the benefit of being exempt from  future EU budget cuts. This programme, under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), will be forced to make significant changes because it may be subject to budget cuts, similar to other EU programmes. Research has shown that these direct payments to farmers have made up over a quarter of the multi-annual budget between 2014 and 2020.

The European Parliament adopted the European Union budget for 2017 at €158 billion including significant increases for tackling migration crisis and terrorism.  The 2017 budget has been set at €157.86 billion for programmes and projects spanning more than one year, compared to €155 billion in 2016 with six billion euros – 11.3% more than in 2016 – to tackle the migration crisis and security.

The next LIFE programme - the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental and climate action projects carried out by public or private bodies in 2014-2020 – will be debated and put to a vote on Thursday. As agreed with EU ministers, its budget will increase to €3.1 billion (from €2.2 billion currently) to tackle new tasks and challenges, mainly in the climate action and resource efficiency fields.

Changeovers in Presidency often mean one thing – that compromises progress between European Parliament and the Member States as negotiators seek to close down their differences on Commission proposals. This time it was no different and the final days of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Ministers saw “compromise” being the name of the game in sealing a range of funding and policy objectives between the European Parliament and representatives of the Member States.