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2016 EU Budget: Focus on migrations and jobs

The budgets committee on demanded more funds to handle the migration and refugee crisis, help young people into jobs, and fully offset the cuts to the EU’s research and transport networks programs, in a political resolution on the 2016 budget. The committee had earlier reversed all the Council’s cuts to the Commission’s initial proposal.

The European Union budget accounts for 1 per cent of the gross national income of all the 28 member states put together, while 94 per cent of it is spent in these countries on European programmes. The annual budgets are proposed by the Commission and then negotiated between Parliament and the Council, which are the two arms of the budgetary authority.

Refugee crisis

The budgets committee stated its incomprehension at the Council’s cuts to the Commission’s initial proposal, which reduce the sums available, inter alia, for security in the Mediterranean countries and non-EU countries on the main migration routes. The committee calls for an additional €1.1 million, over the original proposal, to deal with the internal and external aspects of the crisis, and it wants the EU’s long-term budget plan revised to cater for migration, which is likely to be a long-term issue.

Jobs for the young, for businesses and for farmers

Unlike the Commission, the committee wants to continue financing the Youth Employment Initiative in 2016 even though funds in its seven-year budget was bought forward to 2014 and 2015. The success of the EU’s COSME programme for small and medium-sized firms also highlights the need for more financing, budgets MEPs say. They voted for more resources for Horizon2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility, two programmes the Juncker Plan drew upon, and for dairy farmers hit by the Russian embargo.The committee also wants extra funds for the EU student mobility program Erasmus+, for humanitarian aid and for Palestinian refugees.

Payments

The committee criticizes and overturns the €1.4-billion cut which the Council made to planned actual payments, thereby jeopardizing the reduction of the EU’s payment backlog, a goal the Commission, the Council and the Parliament have agreed upon.

Next steps

Parliament as a whole votes on the resolution in October . Three weeks of conciliation talks then start with the Council, with the aim of reaching a deal between the two institutions in time for next year’s budget to be voted on by Parliament and signed by its President in Strasbourg at the end of November.

Source: EP

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