The European Parliament has reached a provisional deal with the Council on the 2016 European budget in the early hours of Saturday. Parliamentary negotiators fought for more money for the migration, jobs and competitiveness priorities of the Parliament. After budget MEPs and the Council formally endorse the deal, the new budget of the European Union will be adopted at the November plenary session of Parliament.
The preliminary figures are €155 billion in commitment appropriations and €143.8 billion in payment appropriations.
Members of the parliamentary negotiating team made the following statements after the closure of talks early Saturday:
Jean Arthuis (ALDE, FR), Chair of the Committee on Budgets and head of the parliamentary delegation
« The two branches of the budgetary authority agreed on a deal, three days before deadline. Nevertheless a note of caution is necessary: next year, we will use up all the available means under the seven year budgetary framework, and even go beyond it. Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional resources. But I fear exceptional circumstances are here to stay and the EU budget in its current form has already been stretched to breaking point. The seven-year budget agreed in 2013 no longer meets today’s challenges: a full-on revision is overdue. »
José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), chief rapporteur for the 2016 EU budget:
« The budget for next year has to be a budget for jobs, competitiveness and solidarity: that is what Parliament has been fighting for. On the one hand, we ensured sufficient funding for the ongoing migration and refugee crisis, among others by reacting swiftly to the agreements reached at the summit in La Valletta. On the other hand, we reinforced the EU research and development tool Horizon 2020, won extra funding for small and medium sized enterprises and the Erasmus+ student exchange program, and secured a commitment that the youth employment initiative will continue.”
Gérard Deprez (ALDE, BE), rapporteur for the 2016 EU budget:
« At the insistence of the Parliament and with the support of the Commission, the draft European budget for 2016 has been increased to stimulate growth, innovation, employment, helping small and medium sized enterprises in particular.
The Youth Employment Initiative, one of my priorities, will undergo a thorough evaluation in 2016 to make it as efficient as possible in the following years.
Funds helping Member States cope with the massive inflow of refugees were sensibly reinforced. In addition, the migration crisis will be tackled at its roots by improving the situation in refugee camps and by increasing development assistance in African countries from where a large number of young leave for Europe.”
What is next?
After Council formally adopts the compromise, it will be voted in the November plenary of the Parliament (23-26 November in Strasbourg) and signed into law by the president of Parliament.