European Parliament approves 2014 and 2015 EU budgets
At its plenary session on Wednesday, 17 December 2014, the European Parliament approved the EU draft budget for 2015 and a top-up for the 2014 budget. It provides € 145.32 billion in commitments, € 141.21 billion in payments for 2015, as well as an additional € 4.25 billion to settle unpaid bills in 2014.
This vote ends a lengthy conciliation procedure between Council and Parliament to come to an agreement on the Commission's draft budget. In late November, the Commission had had to submit a second draft since no agreement had been reached. The main points of contention were providing enough money to to pay off outstanding bills from the 2014 budget, and to secure investment financing in areas that should stimulate growth.
The European Parliament also requests that the European Commission present a plan to wind down the backlog of unpaid bills set to be at €25 billion by the end of 2014, according to the latest Commission forecast. This plan should also define a “sustainable level” that the amount of unpaid bills must not exceed in future.
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