Council and EP reach provisional agreement on EU budget for 2019
On 4 December 2018, the Council of the EU, represented by the Austrian Council Presidency, and the European Parliament (EP) reached a provisional agreement on the EU budget for 2019, in a trilogue negotiation. Under the agreement, the total commitments in the 2019 EU budget are set at €165.8 billion and payments at €148.2 billion. This is an increase of 3.17% in commitments and 2.37% in payments compared to 2018.
Both parties emphasise that the 2019 budget reflects the priorities growth and jobs, young people, security, and migration. Amongst others, commitments of €23.3 billion (+6.07% compared to 2018) were agreed to support growth and job creation under subheading 1a (competitiveness for growth and jobs). This includes more funds for research and innovation (Horizon 2020, €12.3 billion, a plus of € 150 million compared to the EC proposal; this includes € 194 million for a new European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking), infrastructure projects (Connecting Europe Facility, €3.8 billion), youth exchanges (Erasmus+, €2.8 billion) and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME, €0.4 billion). A further 57.2€ billion go to the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) to narrow economic gaps, nationally as well as between Member States.
The agreement is based on the premise that the United Kingdom, following its withdrawal from the European Union as of 30 March 2019, will continue to contribute to and participate in the implementation of EU budgets until the end of 2020 as if it were a Member State.
The deal now has to be formally adopted by Member States in Council, and will then be voted on by the EP plenary (planned for 12 December 2018).
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