13th Aug 2020

EU tables bigger budget for 2011 despite financial crisis

  • The EU wants to spend €131.1 billion euros in 2011 (Photo: Marfis75)

The EU commission on Tuesday (27 April) proposed a 2011 budget of €130 billion, an increase of almost six percent compared to the current year, with funds for poor regions, research and economic recovery getting the biggest boost.

"The draft budget adopted today gives Europe and its citizens incentives to develop an economy for the future: research and innovation, sustainability and inclusion are its cornerstones," EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said.

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 subscribe as a group

The commission proposes €130.1 billion in real payments to be made next year, an increase of 5.9 percent. On top of that, as much as €142.6 billion could be "committed" in 2011 and cashed in during the following years.

Farm subsidies remain stable at €58.1 billion, representing the budget's biggest slice, while most other spending areas are on the rise, notably regional policy which is set to increase by 14.7 percent to €54.6 billion.

Members of the European Parliament, who have the power to reject the draft budget, raised concern about where the extra spending will come from, with member states slashing their domestic budgets in response to the financial crisis.

"I must admit, I am also not too happy. First of all, I do wonder about the general increase of the budget in times like this," said German liberal MEP Alexander Alvaro.

He urged the EU institutions to make more savings and suggested moving unused funds from agriculture to other parts of the budget.

Mr Lewandowski said he was "neutral" about moving funds and defended the extra expenditure as a "positive message" from Europe, arguing that EU funds will stimulate "the real economy."

The biggest winners of the EU budget are the new member states from central and eastern Europe, while Germany will remain the biggest contributor to the pot.

Cash-strapped Greece is also set to receive some €2.5 billion in regional aid and €700 million in farm subsidies. This money will come on top of the aid package aimed to prevent Greece from defaulting, now being negotiated between Athens, member states and the International Monetary Fund.

EU foreign aid is to fall by 2.4 percent to €7.6 billion, but spending on administration will increase by 4.5 percent to €8.3 billion.

The draft does not yet include the costs for the new diplomatic service to be run by foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton because she has not submitted the figures yet, Mr Lewandowski said. Those amendments could be carried out at a later stage, he added.

A cut in aid for the Palestinian Authority to €200 million was criticised by Socialist Swedish MEP Goran Farm, who noted that the drop was more than total reserve in the commission's foreign-affairs budget.

But Mr Lewandowski said that the sum could be increased over the course of the year.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot community is set to get almost double the aid it received in 2010, despite their newly elected leader's populist stance which could derail reconciliation talks with the Greek Cypriot part.

The draft budget still has to be agreed by EU governments and approved by the European Parliament.


A deep dive into the EU regional funds

While the regional funds account for a full third of the EU budget, they are somewhat under-reported. EUobserver's latest edition of the Regions & Cities magazine looks at the EU's cohesion policy.


A tourist's guide to EU-funded Amsterdam

When it comes to projects paid for by EU regional funds, most people think of roads in Romania or bridges in Bulgaria. But richer regions also receive money. EUobserver takes you on a tour of selected projects in Amsterdam.


Tug of war between 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' cohesion money

The European Commission has promised greater flexibility for local authorities when it comes to delivering on-the-ground results - but it has also tied cohesion policy to the European Semester, a tool used to coordinate macroeconomic policies.


Commissioner Cretu: the EU budget is 'very emotional'

Despite Brexit and new priorities, it is important to keep EU funds for all regions - rich and poor - argues the regions commissioner. But more controls, including a link to rule of law issues, are part of the discussion.

News in Brief

  1. Amazon people urge EU banks to stop funding pollution
  2. Russia vaccine could be "dangerous", Germany says
  3. EU to finance new Covid-19 research projects
  4. Croatia receives EU earthquake relief funds
  5. Facemasks required throughout Brussels
  6. EU opposes Mexico's transparent junk food labels
  7. Greece accuses Turkey of 'escalation' in maritime dispute
  8. Slovakia expels three Russians linked to Berlin murder


A deep dive into the EU regional funds

While the regional funds account for a full third of the EU budget, they are somewhat under-reported. EUobserver's latest edition of the Regions & Cities magazine looks at the EU's cohesion policy.


The EU Agencies Race

In this edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine, we take a closer look at some of the EU agencies, exploring how their location matters and the benefits for cities and regions to host them.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Belarus violence goes on, as EU ministers scramble
  2. French navy to deter Turkey's oil and gas grab
  3. EU ministers urged to talk Belarus, Turkey sanctions
  4. Drums of war again, in Europe
  5. EU looks on as Belarus protests turn lethal
  6. EU virus-alert agency says new restrictions needed
  7. Minsk violence prompts talk of EU sanctions
  8. Schrems privacy ruling risks EU's ties to digital world

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us