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Facts and figures on EU budget

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(BRUSSELS) - Europe's leaders gather in Brussels Thursday for an extraordinary European Union summit aimed at agreeing the bloc's next trillion-euro budget for 2014-2020.

The budget comprises three main parts -- the Common Agricultural Policy which covers farm aid, Cohesion Funds which help poorer member states catch up with their peers, and programmes to boost innovation and jobs.

Herewith the facts and figures behind the spending plans.

REVENUE to finance the seven-year budget comes from three main sources:

  • Contributions from each of the 27 member states based on their gross national income (GNI). This is the largest source, accounting for 68 percent of revenue.
  • Customs duties on imports from outside the EU alongside a "sugar" levy, accounting for 12.9 percent of revenue. EU governments keep 25 percent of the monies raised to cover the cost of collection.
  • A levy on the VAT base of each member state, capped at 50 percent of GNI. This accounts for 11.4 percent of all revenue.

Cash left over from previous years and fines for breaching EU rules and regulations make up the rest of the EU's resources.

The seven-year budget, known as the MULTIANNUAL FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK (MFF), sets spending priorities over the period after the bloc's leaders negotiate national contributions and ceilings for each of the five broad categories of expenditure.

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH, covering spending in favour of growth and employment, as well as cohesion policies. This accounts for 48 percent of all spending.

PRESERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES which includes the Common Agricultural Policy, fisheries and the environment. The category accounts for 37 percent of total expenditure, and the CAP is the single largest budget item.

CITIZENSHIP, FREEDOM, SECURITY AND JUSTICE which covers consumer protection, health, border protection, immigration and asylum policy. This accounts 2.0 percent of spending.

EU AS GLOBAL PLAYER covers foreign policy, humanitarian aid, human rights, development assistance, enlargement and neighbourhood policy, taking 6.0 percent of the budget.

ADMINISTRATION covering wages, pensions and other administrative costs including EU-run schools represent 6.0 percent of spending.

The budget works out at 0.64 euros per day for each of the bloc's 500 million citizens.

Talk of an EU tax has been aired but never decided. Proposals on increasing the EU's own resources are not aimed at increasing the budget but rather at reducing contributions by member states.

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