The Council today adopted its position on the 2015 EU draft budget, endorsing herewith the political agreement reached by the Permanent Representatives Committee on 15 July.
The adoption of the Council's position follows the submission of the draft budget by the Commission. It provides a negotiation mandate to the Italian presidency and allows the European Parliament to express its own view. If at the end of October the Parliament adopts amendments to the Council's position a three-week conciliation period will start on 28 October.
“I am pleased that the Italian Presidency succeeded in its efforts to reach a widespread consensus among the member states around the compromise proposal put forward by us”, said the Italian State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Finance, Enrico Zanetti. “On the basis of the agreed Council position on the draft EU budget 2015, the Italian Presidency now aims to engage with the European Parliament, in a constructive spirit, in order to adopt a sustainable EU budget in the context of the post-crisis recovery. With such a forward-looking approach, the European Union will give an answer to the real problems of the European citizens: to fight unemployment, to enable youth mobility, to support small and medium sized enterprises and to manage migration flows. I am confident to achieve a good result for Europe as a whole during the Italian Presidency.”
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 %; this corresponds to 1.00% of the EU's Gross National Income (GNI);
- 145.08 billion € in commitments, up by 1.7 % compared to 2014; this corresponds to 1.04% of the EU's GNI.
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 Council notably took into account the difficult fiscal situation in many member states. The reductions have been targeted on the basis of past and current budget implementation and realistic absorption capacities.