Thursday

27th Feb 2020

Visual Data

EU budget: Biggest cuts and increases

  • The European Parliament has accused the Commission of providing opaque or misleading figures when it unveiled its new budget for the next seven years (Photo: European Commission)

After weeks of opacity about the European Commission's original proposal for the next long-term EU budget, the European Parliament has put together its own figures.

They show the differences between the upcoming 2021-2027 period and the previous one from 2014-2020.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

The commission has not published comparisons for the two biggest policies - agriculture and cohesion - and MEPs are concerned that the planned cuts are deeper than expected.

MEP Isabelle Thomas, in charge of the budget file in the parliament, told reporters that the commission's proposal is "a very nice story, but not a true story".

"They use sometimes current prices, sometimes constant prices, sometimes they calculate with 27 countries, sometimes with 28, sometimes put programmes that are out of the EU budget, like development aid," she said.

In a document obtained by the EUobserver, the parliament said the commission remained "unclear about which figures it was comparing".

The commission compares by using current prices, which do not exclude inflation. "This results in presenting its proposed cuts much more favourably," the parliament says in the document.

Constant prices allow comparison in real terms between two different periods - but the commission did not provide this information in its first proposal in early May.

The parliament has now highlighted the main changes in funding for agriculture, cohesion, research and the Erasmus+ programme.

According to the figures provided by the parliament, the European Solidarity Corps, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and Erasmus+ are the programs whose fundings increase the most.

Combined, however, the budget favours the migration and defence chapters, with the creation of programs such as the Integrated Border Management Fund (€8.2m), the European Defence Fund (€11.5m), and Military Mobility (€5.8m).

On the other hand, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and Europe for Citizens see the largest cuts.

Those programs are part of the "Cohesion Values" and "Natural Resources" headings, which are the main items in the EU budget, representing 65 percent of the total.

"A 45-percent cut [in the cohesion fund] is not 'technical', it's a change of policy," Jan Olbrycht, another MEP dealing with the budget, said.

The European Commission data has deducted UK expenditure from the 2014-2020 budget to compare with the new EU-27 budget.

The parliament explained that this reduction is "understandable in policy areas on pre-allocated national envelopes," such as agriculture or fisheries, where it is easier to calculate the UK's share.

However, the parliament pointed out that this method "may not be fully justified with genuine EU-wide programmes such as research, Erasmus."

Author bio

The European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet) is a new platform for data-driven news on European affairs brought to you in up to 12 languages by a consortium of media and data journalists from all over Europe, which includes EUobserver.

Commission 'playing tricks' with EU budget figures

The EU parliament's budget rapporteur complained the Commission is using numbers with a "desire to confuse". According to parliament estimates, the cohesion fund could suffer as much as a 45 percent cut.

Commission launches seven-year budget 'bargaining'

While the European Commission's post-Brexit EU budget proposal for 2021-2027 calls for a less-than-expected increase in spending, prime ministers of net payer countries have already called the starting proposal "unacceptable".

Juncker seeks budget whip on unruly states

EU officials want discretionary powers to suspend funds from states that violate treaty values, in a bold power grab amid likely clashes with Hungary and Poland.

News in Brief

  1. Surge in Latin American asylum seekers to EU
  2. EU optimistic on US trade
  3. Danish MEP worried about coronavirus in EU parliament
  4. Report: Uber and Lyft pollute more than trips they displace
  5. Budget: Merkel blames Rutte's 'childish behaviour'
  6. Parliament to staff: stay home if travelled to corona areas
  7. Ex-minister Roettgen seeks German CDU leadership
  8. Commissioner Kyriakides to meet Italy's health minister

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. EU critical of China on Swedish dissident publisher
  2. NGOs urge EU to tackle meat consumption 'problem'
  3. Coronavirus: voices from a quarantined Italian town
  4. EU won't accept UK trade deal 'at any price', Barnier warns
  5. Greek island riots require measured response, says EU
  6. Roll out red carpet - or recycle it? Green Deal's EU blindspot
  7. Libya is test of EU geopolitics, ex-UN inspector says
  8. No risk yet to Schengen from Italy's coronavirus outbreak

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us