European Parliament and Council reach budget agreement
On Monday, 8 December 2014, the Council and the European Parliament succeeded in reaching a provisional agreement on the European Union budget for 2015 and open bills to be paid. This conciliation agreement still needs to be formally endorsed both by the full Parliament and the Council. An additional € 4.8 billion will be available for paying bills for 2014-2015. For 2015, the compromise reached provides for €145.3 billion in commitments and €141.2 billion in payments, thus leaving sufficient margins under the ceilings of the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) 2014-2020 to allow the EU to react to unforeseen events, according to the Council.
Parliament’s negotiators agreed to the 2015 budget on condition that the Commission presents a plan to reduce the amount of the unpaid bills to a sustainable level by 2016.
For Horizon 2020, an additional €45 million were negotiated. More funds will also be available for Erasmus+, foreign policy, banking supervisory agencies and Frontex. Overall, the EU's budget for 2015 contains one percent more money for projects than the budget for 2014 and suffices to deliver one percent more payments than in 2014.
The next step is for theEU Budgets Committe for formally vote on the text on 11 December 2014. Council will formally approve the agreed compromise text on 12 December 2014. Finally it will be voted at the European Parliament's last plenary session this year in Strasbourg, on 15-18 December.