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Budgets Committee votes to return €4.54 billion to Member States

Parliament's Budgets Committee voted Monday to deduct €4.54 billion from Member States' contributions to this year's EU budget. This sum is the surplus left over from financial 2010. MEPs nonetheless objected to returning part of the sum to Member States, and would like to prevent it from happening again.

Of this total, €2.72 billion consists of leftovers from programmes implemented in 2010. The rest comes from fines, interest on late payments and surpluses due to exchange rate differences.

Despite approving the amending budget required to return the funds - a decision that needs to be confirmed in a plenary vote next week - Budgets Committee MEPs said that the part of the money that stems from enforcing EU competition policy "should be directly put back and reinvested in the EU budget".

MEPs "are determined to promote and defend this principle in the coming negotiations on annual and multi-annual budgets", as they do not consider the competition enforcement funds to be "surplus"

"The current Financial Regulation prevents us from deducting fines and interests on late payments from the EU's budget surplus. I am convinced that we should change this provision and reinvest these amounts in the future EU budgets", said the MEP responsible for amending budgets, Ms Sidonia Jędrzejewska (EPP, PL).

For an overview of the exact sum that each Member State may deduct from its contribution for 2011, please see page 5 of the draft report (link below).

Next steps

Plenary vote: 5 July

In the chair : Alain LAMASSOURE (EPP, FR)

Further information :