Saturday

22nd Sep 2018

MEPs beef up 2016 EU budget for migration and farmers

  • Tackling migration would get 1.2 billion euros in funding, according to the EP budget committee's plans (Photo: Frontex)

Members of the European Parliament’s budget committee voted on Tuesday (29 September) not only to reverse the previous cuts from the 2016 EU budget, but to pledge new funds to tackle the refugee crisis, help European farmers and restore funding for innovation and research programs.

Voting in the EP’s budget committee started on Monday, and dealt with 1,902 amendments.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The committee proposed a budget of €157.4 billion in commitments - €4.4 billion more than previously agreed by member states' ministers - and €146.5 billion in payments. Commitments are contractual obligations that may span more than one year, while payments cover the proposed spending for the next 12-month period.

MEPs voted to reverse the council cuts in the European Commission’s original proposal.

The council decided earlier this month to reduce the €153.8 billion commitments proposal by €564 million, and the €143.5 billion payments allocation proposal by €1.42 billion.

The council, however, accepted an increase in payments of 0.6 percent compared with 2015 (€839 million).

MEPs added a total of €1.2 billion, under various budget headings, to help EU agencies manage the arrival and transfer of the recent influx of refugees and migrants; finance the relocation of a total of 160,000 refugees within Europe; help third countries outside the bloc; and bolster funding for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, that is supposed to promote the efficient management of migration flows.

The MEPs added €26 million for funding and staffing of those agencies that primarily deal with migration, like Frontex, the EU border agency, Europol, the EU police agency, Cepol, the European police college, Eurojust, the EU's judicial cooperation agency and others.

The second migration package, to cover the relocation of 120,000 migrants, worth €780 million, which was proposed by the European Commission earlier this month, was also included in the EP’s vote.

The draft pledged €500 million for dairy farmers hit by falling prices, a commitment previously supported by member states.

The committee added €473 million in credits for future programs of the initiative to reduce youth unemployment, and slated €14 million extra for the student mobility program, Erasmus+.

The MEPs also restored €1.3 billion of funding to the EU’s research and development program, Horizon2020, and efforts to develop transport and energy networks.

“Our amendments enable the budget to face up to the challenges posed by the refugee crisis, beef up programs in employment, and help dairy farmers,” said rapporteur on the 2016 Budget, José Manuel Fernandes MEP, in a statement.

The EP’s decision to top up funds is bound to clash with member states, who are keen to cut back on payments.

A resolution on the budget will be voted on in the EP plenary session at the end of October, then three weeks of “conciliation” talks will begin with member states.

The aim is to reach a compromise by mid-November.

Frontex to get budget hike after refugee failures

Frontex, the EU's external border agency, is being given a 54 percent budget rise next year as part of a new European Commission package of initiatives to tackle the continent's refugee and migrant crisis.

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

'Every group split' ahead of EU copyright vote

Political groups in the European Parliament are split about how to vote for a directive that would reform the EU's copyright regime - amid warnings that freedom of expression and creators' rights are at risk.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us