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Brussels proposes EUR 161 bn EU Budget for 2018

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Brussels proposes EUR 161 bn EU Budget for 2018

Guenther Oettinger - Google - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission proposed Tuesday a draft EU budget for 2018 of EUR 161 billion with a focus on job creation, especially for young people, and a boost to growth and strategic investments.

Emphasis in next year's EU budget will continue to be placed on dealing with the migration challenge, both inside and outside the EU. The Commission says improved reporting will enhance the focus on concrete results which will be achieved thanks to EU funding.

"With this budget we want to strike the right balance between keeping our past commitments regarding major EU programmes and addressing new challenges, while enhancing EU added value," said Commissioner Guenther H. Oettinger.

The European Parliament and the Member States will now be tasked to jointly discuss the EU executive's proposal.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which aims to support jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources to harness private investment, is already expected to mobilise €194 billion in investments to date. In 2018, the Commission proposes to provision the EFSI guarantee fund with a further €2 billion.

The EU budget will provide €55.4 billion for Structural and Investment funds for regions and Member States and almost €59.6 billion for farmers and rural development.

There is an increase by 8.1% of overall payments for the 2014-2020 EU structural and investment programmes.

A new European Fund for Sustainable Development is expected to leverage additional financing, in particular from the private sector.

For the Erasmus+ education programme the 2018 draft budget sets aside €2.3 billion - a 9.5% increase compared to the 2017 budget.

For the Youth Employment Initiative, the Commission proposes an additional €1.2 billion over 2017-2020, of which €233 million is included in the draft budget 2018 and €500 million in an amending budget for 2017 which is also proposed.

Another opportunity for young people is the European Solidarity Corps, which provides volunteering placements, traineeship and job offers for 2-12 months, fostering solidarity in communities across Europe. The Commission has proposed an own budget and legal base for the European Solidarity Corps to enable 100,000 Europeans to take part by 2020. Actions related to the European Solidarity Corps for 2018-2020 will come to a total of €342 million, of which €89 million in 2018.

As migration and security continue to be top priorities, the Commission is planning to continue financing a wide range of related actions within the EU such as providing humanitarian assistance, reinforcing external border management, supporting the most affected Member States, and more. The €4.1 billion planned in the draft budget for 2018 in the areas of migration and security brings the total of overall EU funding for migration and security to an unprecedented €22 billion in the 2015-2018 period. The 2018 draft budget reflects the fact that the bulk of this was frontloaded.

Additional funds will also be available to tackle the root causes of migration externally, notably by providing assistance for non-EU countries dealing with large migration flows such as Lebanon and Jordan. The draft budget also includes the pledges for this region made at the Brussels conference on supporting the future of Syria in April 2017, which total €560 million.

In the area of security, EU funding will focus on preventive security measures, notably in the field of serious and organised crime, including reinforcing coordination and cooperation between national law enforcement authorities, increasing the security of the EU's external borders and supporting Member States to fight against terrorism and cybercrime.

Moreover, the Commission launched in 2017 a so-called preparatory action for EU funded defence research. Overall €90 million are budgeted for the 2017-2019 period to fund collaborative research in innovative defence technologies and products.

The draft EU budget includes two amounts for each programme to be financed — commitments and payments. 'Commitments' refer to the funding that can be agreed in contracts in a given year; 'payments' to the money actually paid out. In the draft 2018 budget, commitments represent €161 billion (up 1.4% from 2017) and payments €145 billion (up 8.1% from 2017, due to the 2014-2020 EU structural and investment programmes reaching cruising speed in 2018, after a slow start in the first years).

Draft EU Budget 2018 – Questions and Answers

Draft EU budget 2018 documents

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