The Council of the EU led by Slovak Economy Ministry Secretary, Ivan Lesay, and the European Parliament agreed on the EU 2017 budget on November 17.
The total commitments are set at €157.88 billion and payments at €134.49 billion. The 2017 EU budget is expected to be formally adopted by the Council on November 29 and the Parliament on December 1.
“The strength of the 2017 EU budget lies in its focus on priority measures such as addressing migration, including tackling its root causes, and encouraging investment as a way to help stimulate growth and create jobs,” Lesay told the press. “This maximises the budget’s impact to the benefit of EU taxpayers, European citizens and companies. And it respects member states’ continued efforts to consolidate their public finances.”
The agreed commitments of almost €6 billion mean that around 11.3 percent more money will be available for tackling the migration crisis and reinforcing security than in 2016. The money will be used to help member states in the resettlement of refugees, the creation of reception centres, support for integration measures and the return of those who have no right to stay, according to the council’s press release.
It will also help to enhance border protection, crime prevention, counter terrorism activities and protect critical infrastructure.
Commitments of €21.3 billion were agreed to boost economic growth and create new jobs under the sub-heading 1a (competitiveness for growth and jobs). This is an increase of around 12 percent compared to 2016.
This part of the budget that covers instruments such as Erasmus + which increases by 19 percent to €2.1 billion and the European fund for strategic investments which is raised by 25 percent to €2.7 billion.
The 2017 EU budget also includes €500.00 million in commitments for the youth employment initiative to help young people to find a job. A further €500.00 million was agreed for supporting milk and other livestock farmers with additional support measures announced in July.
With a view to matching member states’ consolidation efforts at national level the Council and the Parliament reminded all EU institutions to complete the 5 percent staff reduction by 2017 as agreed in 2013.
17. Nov 2016 at 23:59 | Compiled by Spectator staff