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2016 EU budget: Council backs prioritisation of expenditure

On 8 November 2016, the Council approved two Commission proposals to bring the 2016 EU budget in line with the EU's current priorities and actual needs.

The draft amending budgets provide in particular for additional resources to tackle the migration crisis and enhance security. However, overall, they lead to a significant reduction in the payments level in this year's budget. This is because some programmes for the 2014-2020 period, in particular those in the area of economic, social and territorial cohesion, are not yet fully up and running and therefore draw on fewer payments than expected, in 2016.

Less payment needs, more money  for migration

Draft amending budget no 4 for 2016 reduces the payment level in this year's budget by €7.3 billion to €136.6 billion. This reflects the most recent needs estimates, in particular in the area of economic, social and territorial cohesion.

At the same time, draft amending budget no 4 for 2016 provides for additional financial assistance to tackle the migration crisis. This includes

  • €50 mio in commitments and €10 mio in payments to help Greece and other member states to accommodate the humanitarian needs of refugees
  • €130 mio in commitments for the asylum, migration and integration fund to help public services, NGO's and humanitarian organisations to provide accommodation for asylum seekers and language training for migrants
  • €70 mio in commitments for the internal security fund to help national authorities fight cross-border crime and terrorism and to ensure a high level of security in the EU

Draft amending budget no 4 ensures a quicker mobilisation of €73.9 million in commitments for the European fund for strategic investments which seeks to overcome the current investment gap in the EU.

The Council also approved the Commission proposal to compensate this year's revenue losses arising from the depreciation of the British pound with revenue from fines. In case the exchange rate losses exceed income from fines, the Commission will have to take appropriate measures, such as using the 2016 budget surplus. Exchange rate losses and gains are normal features of the existing budgetary arrangements.

New rules for EU own resources

Draft amending budget no 5 for 2016 incorporates into the 2016 EU budget the impact of the retroactive application of the new own resources decision as from 1 January 2014. This follows the completion of the ratification process by all member states and the entry into force of the decision on 1 October 2016. This draft amending budget changes member states' individual share in the financing of the EU budget.

Next steps

The two draft amending budgets still have to be approved by the European Parliament.

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