Saturday

2nd Dec 2023

MEPs and ministers agree 2014 budget breakthrough

  • The budget deal means the commission can cover remaining bills for 2013 (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

The long-running dispute on EU spending has moved a step closer to compromise after ministers and MEPs agreed an EU budget for 2014.

Under a deal clinched in the small hours of Tuesday morning (12 November), the 2014 budget now amounts to €142.6 billion in commitments and €135.5 billion in payments.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

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

... or subscribe as a group

The compromise is nearly €500 million more than the figure proposed by ministers, but €400 million less than the figure demanded by MEPs last month.

It represents a 9.4 percent drop in spending compared with the 2013 budget.

While all budget headings, apart from EU administration, face real term cuts compared with 2013 spending, EU cohesion funding, which includes structural funds to the bloc's poorest regions, faces the deepest cuts. Cohesion spending will fall by around €7 billion to €64 billion.

The deal also includes an agreement from governments to provide additional funds to cover the European Commission's outstanding bills for 2013.

An extra €3.9 billion will pay claims arising from Cohesion Policy.

Member states will also cough up more money to allow the EU's solidarity fund to pay out €400.5 million in compensation to regions in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Romania, which were affected by violent floods last spring.

However, €150 million of these funds will be financed from next year's 2014 budget.

Speaking on Tuesday, EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said the agreement would provide "much needed investment opportunities  to Europe's businesses, scientists, towns, regions and students at a time when investing is much needed."

He added that the deal marked a "crucial step" towards sealing agreement on the bloc's next seven year budget.

MEPs have delayed their final vote on the the EU's 2014-2020 multi-annual financial framework (MFF), until governments provide the money needed for the commission to avoid a cash-flow crisis.

The agreement now requires the final approval of MEPs at next week's plenary session in Strasbourg.

Failure to adopt the budget before the end of the year would see the EU operate on the basis of the 2013 budget adjusted for inflation.

For his part, Lithuanian deputy finance minister, Algimantas Rimkunas, who brokered Tuesday's talks on behalf of EU governments, commented that 2013 and 2014 spending deal "does not put more burden" on the EU's cash-strapped governments, but "ensures that money is spent on the most important priorities such as youth employment and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises."

"We have also managed to agree that there will be sufficient margins so that the EU is able to respond to unforeseen situations requiring additional expenditures," he added.

But Alain Lamassoure, the chairman of the European Parliament's budgets committee, was less enthusiastic, describing the deal as being merely "decent" enough.

Deal on longterm EU budget after last-minute talks

EU negotiators Thursday reached a last-minute political agreement on the 2014-2020 budget, sparing the EU the embarrassing prospect of hosting a jobs-focused summit without being able to commit money to fighting unemployment.

Member states owe EU over €320bn

EU internal budget auditors say member states will need to fork out an additional €326 billion to finance their on-going EU-funded projects over the coming years.

MEPs finally back seven-year EU budget

MEPs have approved the first-ever cut to the EU’s seven-year spending cycle in the bloc’s history, bringing to an end over a year of talks.

Opinion

Dubai's COP28 — a view from the ground

Discussion of the biggest existential threat humanity has ever faced is barely mentioned on billboards or signage in Dubai — yet visitors are made aware quite quickly that t world rugby sevens tournament is imminent.

Opinion

'Pay or okay?' — Facebook & Instagram vs the EU

Since last week, Mark Zuckerberg's Meta corporation is forcing its European users to either accept their intrusive privacy practices — or pay €156 per year to access Facebook and Instagram without tracking advertising.

Latest News

  1. Israel's EU ambassador: 'No clean way to do this operation'
  2. Brussels denies having no 'concern' on Spain's amnesty law
  3. Dubai's COP28 — a view from the ground
  4. Germany moves to criminalise NGO search-and-rescue missions
  5. Israel recalls ambassador to Spain in new diplomatic spat
  6. Migrant return bill 'obstructed' as EU states mull new position
  7. Paris and Berlin key to including rape in gender-violence directive
  8. What are the big money debates at COP28 UN climate summit?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  3. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  4. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?
  5. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  6. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us