Thursday

21st Oct 2021

EU tables €144bn spending plan for 2016

  • The EU has announced spending plans worth €143.5 billion for 2016 (Photo: Images_of_Money)

EU spending will total €143.5 billion in 2016 under budget plans tabled by the European Commission on Wednesday (27 May).

At €143.5 billion, the spending package is 1.6 percent higher than the €141.2 billion earmarked for this year, while the xommission will be allowed to agree contracts with a total value of €153 billion over the course of 2016.

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

More than 70 percent of EU spending is allocated to farming subsidies and regional aid, but the draft budget also includes €500 million in guarantees for the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), which aims to leverage €315 billion in private sector funded infrastructure investment projects.

Elsewhere, the Erasmus student exchange programme, which was one of the EU programmes at the centre of a cash-flow crisis in 2013 and 2014, is set to receive a 30 percent increase in payments taking its budget to €1.8 billion. Meanwhile, the bloc’s Migration and Integration Fund will be boosted by 36 percent, receiving a total of €521 million next year.

"Our 2016 budget supports the economic recovery through investment for growth and jobs, as well as helping manage external challenges such as migration,” said EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. “We are responding to the most pressing needs in Europe."

Georgieva also argued that the budget would continue to pay off overhanging bills from the 2007-2013 spending round. Having reached a peak of €24.7 billion at the end of 2014, the commission plan would reduce the backlog to €2 billion.

The budget is the third of the current seven year framework which began in 2014, and which caps total spending at €960 billion, fractionally below 1 percent of GDP.

Despite setting up a working group headed by former Italian prime minister and EU commissioner Mario Monti to look at new ways to fund EU spending, around 75 percent of the funds will continue to come directly from EU governments, with VAT payments the next largest contributor.

“This is a positive start and hopefully signals the end of ever-increasing EU budgets,” said Bernd Kölmel, spokesman for the anti-federalist ECR group.

“This budget represents the first time the EU’s spending commitments have been reduced, and the payments on hand have only been increased in line with inflation,” he added.

For their part, deputies from the centre-left Socialist and Liberal groups indicated that extra money could be allocated to the investment fund (EFSI) during a debate with Georgieva in the parliament’s budget committee.

Georgieva will be keen to avoid the last minute negotiations between MEPs and ministers on EU budgetary plans that have become an annual pre-Christmas ritual in recent years.

Governments will adopt their stance on the draft budget in July while the parliament will agree its position on the spending plans in September.

Unpaid bills main hurdle in EU budget talks

Britain and the Netherlands no longer have a problem with paying their EU top-ups, but EU budget talks are stuck on how to settle a €28bn lag of unpaid bills.

Polish rule-of-law debate boils over to EU summit

The summit discussion comes after the EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said this week the bloc's executive will take action against Warsaw, for challenging the supremacy of EU law.

Romania pushes live-animal exports despite EU criticism

Romania was criticised during a crisis in the Suez canal earlier this year when the country was the source of 130,000 of the 200,000 live animals stranded without food and water during the shipping bottleneck.

Opinion

MEPs poised to vote blank cheque for Europol using AI tools

Fair Trials, EDRi and other civil society organisations are calling on MEPs to hold true to protect our fundamental rights. We urge MEPs to vote against the revision of Europol's mandate, which distinctly lacks meaningful accountability and safeguards.

Romania pushes live-animal exports despite EU criticism

Romania was criticised during a crisis in the Suez canal earlier this year when the country was the source of 130,000 of the 200,000 live animals stranded without food and water during the shipping bottleneck.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Dutch lawyers take Frontex to EU court over pushbacks
  2. Polish rule-of-law debate boils over to EU summit
  3. MEPs back EU food reform, despite strong lobbying
  4. EU calls for end to gas price speculation
  5. Romania pushes live-animal exports despite EU criticism
  6. MEPs poised to vote blank cheque for Europol using AI tools
  7. EU re-launches mammoth fiscal debates
  8. Czech politics in limbo over Zeman health crisis

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us