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Budget 2013: figures now available

he final figures for the budget 2013, as amended by the Budgets Committee, are available. On Wednesday the Budgets Committee confirmed the outcome of last week's 2013 budget votes in a draft resolution to be put to a plenary vote on 23 October.

In general, MEPs sought to restore the draft budget proposed by the Commission, after cuts by the Council in July. The committee's position on the budget would increase payments by 6.82% as compared to this year's budget and commitments by 2.2%. The total for payments voted by the committee is €137.9 billion, and for commitments €151.15 billion.

More transparency about member states' financial claims on the EU Budget

The draft resolution calls for more transparency on the financial claims submitted by the member states, as these form the basis of the annual budgets proposed by the Commission. Making these figures public would make it clear that it is not the Commission or Parliament that "always request more money". In reality these budget "increases" are mainly due to bigger claims from member states' authorities managing EU money in their respective countries.

Avoid further payment shortfalls

MEPs also stressed the need for an amending budget to remedy the problem of payment shortfalls in 2012 in areas such as research, the Erasmus student exchange programme and EU social and development funds. This amending budget is to be presented by the Commission on the day of the plenary vote on the budget. MEPs insist that both the amending budget and the payments budget for 2013, must suffice to cover all financial obligations stemming from previous commitments, which are legally binding.

The final aggregate figures are available at the link to the right.

Next steps

Parliament as a whole will vote its position on the 2013 budget at the 23 October plenary session. Parliamentary committees and groups of more than 40 individual members may still table amendments to be put to a plenary vote.

After the plenary vote, a 21-day conciliation period starts. If Parliament and Council reach an agreement, the final budget could be approved by the end of November.

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