Council approves EU 2016 budget
On 24 November 2015, the Council unanimously approved the 2016 EU budget as agreed by the Conciliation Committee on 14 November 2015. The European Parliament debated the budget on the same day and is due to vote on and adopt the 2016 budget today (25 November 2015).
The budget for next year includes €155 billion in commitments and €143.8 billion in payments (commitments are the financial obligations the EU undertakes during the year, payments are what it actually pays that year). It provides a margin of €2.3 billion under the expenditure ceiling of the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, allowing the EU to react to unforeseen needs and challenges, in particular more than €4 billion in commitments for helping member states and third countries to address the refugee crisis. Resources for the fight against crime and the protection against terrorist attacks are also increased.
Amongst other issues, there is an increase of resources for research and other measures aimed at boosting growth by 8.3% in commitments and 10.8% in payments compared to 2015, to reach €19.01 billion and €17.41 billion respectively. The EU budget accounts for about 1% of the gross national income of all EU countries taken together.
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