Dods EU Alert: Council agrees position on the 2015 EU budget
Coreper has reached an agreement on the Council's position on the 2015 EU draft budget.
The Permanent Representatives Committee1 has reached an agreement on the Council's position on the 2015 EU draft budget, on the basis of a compromise text of the Italian presidency.
Thanks to this agreement, there will be no need to convene the ECOFIN (Budget) Council scheduled for 17 July, and it will be possible to engage in discussions with the European Parliament later this year.
“We are pleased that member states were able to converge towards the compromise proposal put forward by the presidency”, said Ambassador Stefano Sannino, Permanent Representative of Italy.
“Thanks to this collective effort, we will be able to preserve allocations to policies which address relevant demands from European citizens: fight against unemployment, youth mobility, support to small and medium enterprises, as well as instruments to manage migration flows. We now look forward to starting negotiations with the European Parliament in a constructive spirit, on the basis of a solid consensus in Council”.
In terms of figures, the Council's position amounts to 140.00 billion € in payments, limiting the increase compared to the 2014 EU budget as adopted last year to 3.3 %. Total commitments amount to 145.08 billion €, up by 1.7 % compared to 2014.2 Sufficient margins have been left under the ceilings for both, payments and commitments, in order to enable the EU to cope with unforeseen events.
Payments for activities such as research, innovation and education increase by 2.8 billion € or 24.5 % (sub-heading 1a "competitiveness for growth and jobs").
Compared to the amounts proposed by the Commission, the Council reduced the payments by 2.1 billion € and the commitments by 522 million €. The reductions have been targeted on the basis of past and current budget implementation and realistic absorption capacities.
The Council is expected to formally adopt its position by written procedure at the beginning of September. It will serve as a mandate to the Italian presidency to negotiate next year's EU budget with the European Parliament.
A summary of the draft Council's position is available here.
1: The Permanent Representatives Committee is composed of the ambassadors of the 28 EU member states. Its role is to prepare decisions of the Council.
2: The 2014 EU budget as adopted last year includes 135.50 billion € in payments and 142.64 billion € in commitments.
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