EP and Council start negotiations on 2019 EU budget
On 24 October 2018, the EP voted on its resolution for the EU budget for 2019. MEPs set the overall at €166.34 billion for commitments and €149.3 billion in payments. MEPs reaffirm their priorities: “sustainable growth, innovation, competitiveness, security, tackling root causes of refugees and migration flows, managing refugee and migration flows, the fight against climate change and the transition to sustainable energy, and a particular focus on young people.” The resolution was approved by 389 votes to 158, with 123 abstentions.
Amongst others, the EP resolution rejects cuts proposed by the Council, including those for Horizon 2020 and wants to restore the funding proposed by the EC for the Framework Programme, adding €256.9 million, since both Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) had faced cuts as part of measures to help finance the EU guarantee for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EP wishes to further increase Horizon 2020 by another €65 million and climate-related spending under Horizon 2020, CEF and Heading 2 programmes by another €97.3 million.
On 25 October 2018, the Council informed the EP that it cannot accept all the EP's amendments for the 2019 EU budget. The Council states it is "concerned by the increases proposed by the European Parliament", which exceed the level of funding of the European Commission's original draft budget, as well as the ceilings of the current multiannual financial framework. The Council says it wishes to "take into account the actual needs and absorption capacities under the different programmes to ensure adequate levels of funding and good value for EU taxpayers’ money".
This means that there will have to be a three-week conciliation period between the Council and the EP, starting on 30 October. The two institutions will have to find an agreement by 19 November 2018. If they succeed, the budget for 2019 will be voted on by the EP plenary on 29 November 2018.
For more information: