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Climate action tops EU's Budget priorities for 2020

Climate action tops EU's Budget priorities for 2020

Kimmo Tiilikainen - Photo © European Union

(BRUSSELS) - EU institutions finally agreed Monday evening on the EU's budget for 2020, with climate change topping a list of priorities that focuses on growth and competitiveness, security and management of migration.

Total commitments for the Budget are set at €168.7 billion - an increase of 1.5% compared to the 2019 budget as amended. €1.5 billion have been kept available under the expenditure ceilings of the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, allowing the EU to react to unforeseeable needs.

"Next year's budget strengthens support for the EU's priority areas and best-performing programmes," said Finland Finance Minister Kimmo Tiilikainen, for the EU presidency: "It also ensures a realistic approach, taking into account the interests of taxpayers and the need to cater for new challenges that may arise in 2020." Mr Tiilikainen highlighted the move to further "green" the EU budget and ensure "that it works in support of the EU's climate agenda."

Total payments amount to €153.6 billion, rising 3.4% from 2019. This increase reflects the continuing implementation of the 2014-2020 programmes at full speed. The aim is to ensure timely payments to beneficiaries and avoid a substantial accumulation of payment claims over the next few years, in particular in relation to cohesion policy.

The agreed figures are based on the premise that the UK will continue to participate fully in the financing and implementation of the EU budget for 2020.

The EU has set itself the goal of dedicating at least 20% of EU expenditure to climate protection in the period 2014-2020. To help meet this goal, the Parliament and the Council have agreed to increase the focus on climate-related actions in several areas such as research and development (Horizon 2020), transport and energy infrastructure (Connecting Europe Facility) and the EU's external action. Additional funds have also been allocated to the EU's LIFE programme, which will receive €590 million, and the European Environment Agency for recruiting new staff (+6) to support the fight against climate change.

Other important elements of the agreement on the EU budget for 2020 include the following:

  • In order to support growth and competitiveness, €25.3 billion (+7.9% compared to 2019) have been allocated to programmes under subheading 1a (competitiveness for growth and jobs). This includes more funds for Horizon 2020 (€13.5 billion in total, +8.8%), European satellite navigation systems (EGNOS and Galileo) (€1.2 billion, +74.8%) and the energy strand of the Connecting Europe Facility (€1.3 billion, +35.0%). Erasmus+ will receive €2.9 billion (+3.6%) to support youth exchanges.
  • To fight youth unemployment in the most affected regions, the envelope for the Youth Employment Initiative has been set at €145 million.
  • In the fields of security and migration, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund has been allocated €949 million for management of migration, including to support the frontline member states. The Internal Security Fund will receive €501 million. Additional funding compared to 2019 will be provided for several agencies, including for new staff to be recruited by FRONTEX (+191), the European Asylum Support Office (+82), Europol (+24) and the European Public Prosecutor's Office (+10). Eurojust will receive an additional €3.7 million.
  • The EU's external action instruments have been reinforced to cover the EU's contribution to the Syria pledge as agreed during the Brussels III conference on Syria and to combat the root causes of migration via the North Africa window of the EU Trust Fund for Africa.
  • As in 2018 and 2019, the pre-accession funds for Turkey have been significantly reduced compared to the draft budget proposed by the Commission (-€85 million) given the distancing of Turkey from EU values. More funds, on the other hand, have been provided for the Western Balkans.

The Parliament and the Council now have 14 days to formally approve the agreement reached. The Council is expected to endorse it on 25 November. The vote in the European Parliament is scheduled for 27 November.

    Headings

          2020 EU budget (in € million)

   Commitments

   Payments

 1. Smart and inclusive growth

   83 931

   72 351

 - 1a. Competitiveness for growth and jobs

   25 285

   22 308

 - 1b. Economic, social and territorial cohesion

   58 646

   50 043

 2. Sustainable growth: natural resources

   59 907

   57 905

 3. Security and citizenship

   3 729

   3 685

 4. Global Europe

   10 262

   8 929

 5. Administration

   10 272

   10 275

 Special instruments

   588

   419

  TOTAL

   168,688

   153,563

As % of GNI of EU28

   0.99%

   0.90%

Council webpage on budgetary matters


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