EP Budgets Committee rejects Council's EU 2018 budget cuts
At the meeting of the European Parliament's (EP) Committee on Budgets on 26/27 September 2017, MEPs voted through a budget totalling €161.8 billion in commitments, which is €2.3 billion more than the original Commission proposal. As for the payments, Budgets MEPs set them at €146.1 billion (original Commission proposal: €144.8 billion in payments).
The MEPs thus reversed all cuts proposed by the Council to the draft 2018 EU budget and voted in favour of increasing funds for research, infrastructure projects and to fight youth unemployment. They fully restored the budgets of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which funds infrastructure projects, and the Horizon 2020 programme. Both programmes had faced cuts as part of measures to help finance the EU guarantee for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Amongst other issues, the MEPs also voted in favour of increasing funding for a series of initiatives under Horizon 2020 above the original Commission proposal (+€65 million).
The details of the budget will be available shortly and a corresponding resolution will be voted on at the committee meeting on 10 October 2017. The EP plenary will vote on its position on the Draft Budget 2018 on 25 October 2017. This will be followed by three weeks of “conciliation” talks with the Council. The objective of these negotiations is to reach an agreement in time for the EU's 2018 budget which is due to be voted on by Parliament in December 2017.
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