Saturday

24th Feb 2018

EU must do 'more with less' in 2015

  • Budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski presented the EU's spending plans for 2015 to MEPs on Wednesday. (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

Europe will have to do more with less, the bloc’s budget commissioner said Wednesday (11 June) as he unveiled the EU’s spending plans for 2015.

The plans are worth €142.1 billion, up by €1.3 billion on projected spending levels for 2014.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

If approved by MEPs and government ministers, spending would still be €2.5 billion lower than in 2013, reflecting the 3 percent cut to the EU’s spending between 2014 and 2020.

The EU’s flagship infrastructure and public investment projects including the Connecting Europe facility and youth guarantee schemes are in line to get the biggest increase in cash, being allocated €15.6 billion by the Commission, a 29.5 percent increase on this year.

Conversely, structural and cohesion funding for the bloc’s poorest regions sees the largest cut of 5 percent but, at a projected €51.6 billion, will remain the largest single item of spending.

The number of staff in the European Commission is also set to drop by over 1,000.

“We are dealing with more commitments with less money," said commissioner Janusz Lewandowski.

“Some member states don’t take account that political promises have financial consequences,” he added.

More than €57 billion, equivalent to around 40 percent of the total budget, will cover outstanding bills from 2007-13, the previous budgetary cycle.

But if recent history is anything to go by, Wednesday’s proposal will only be the first in a long-running saga between the EU executive, MEPs and ministers.

The Commission has been forced to request extra cash in the last two years, tabling a series of nine amending budgets worth over €15 billion last year, in a bid to plug funding shortfalls.

The EU executive says that it has been the victim of continuous under-budgeting in recent years, leaving it unable to pay its bills without extra money.

The practice is unlikely to go away, with Lewandowski admitting that there was a €23.4 billion overhang of bills from 2013 still to be paid.

Meanwhile, Lewandowski refused to speculate on his own future, despite being elected as an MEP in his native Poland last month.

He remains keen to secure a second term as his country’s commissioner, although foreign minister Radek Sikorski has been touted as a possible replacement for EU foreign affairs chief and commission vice-president Catherine Ashton.

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.

EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'

The 'Brussels bubble' ideas for transnational electoral lists was put on ice at the summit, while Jean-Claude Juncker's idea for an EU 'super president' was also rejected. The 'Spitzenkandidat' proposal backed by the European parliament also suffered a rebuff.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
  2. UK's post-Brexit vision is 'pure illusion', Tusk says
  3. EU leaders express solidarity with Cyprus in Turkey drill row
  4. EU to double funding for Sahel forces
  5. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  6. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  7. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  8. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeAnkara Ban on LGBTI Events Continues as Turkish Courts Reject NGO Appeals
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU agrees budget to focus on defence, security and migration
  2. EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'
  3. Regions chief: calls for smaller EU budget are 'impossible'
  4. Election fever picks up This WEEK
  5. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  6. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  7. European far-right political party risks collapse
  8. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table