New EU budget: less for structural funds and agricultural policy

The European Commission also plans to condition the drawing of EU money for 2021-2027.

European Parliament, illustrative stock photoEuropean Parliament, illustrative stock photo (Source: AP/TASR)

The draft budget of the European Union after 2020 expects a slight reduction of sources in structural funds and the common agricultural policy. On the other hand, more money should go to research, migration border control and defence.

One of the most fundamental changes is the proposal to condition the access to EU funds with the state of the rule of law in the member states, according to the draft published by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther Oettinger, on May 2.

The draft budget already reflects the departure of the United Kingdom, the SITA newswire reported.

Rule of law necessary for financial management

The budget for 2021-2027 is expected to amount to €1.135 billion, which matches 1.11 percent of the GDP in the 27-member club. After taking inflation into account, this amount is comparable with the one allocated for 2014-2020. The financing of the common agricultural policy and cohesion policy should decrease by about 5 percent each.

Read also:EU funds will be allocated according to different criteria Read more 

The cohesion policy will have a more important role in supporting the structural reforms and long-term integration of migrants. Moreover, the financing in fields like research and innovations, young people, digital economy, border management, security and defence is expected to increase. For example, the budget for Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps should double, SITA reported.

A fundamental innovation in the draft budget is connecting the funds with the rule of law. Observing the basic principles is a prerequisite of correct financial management and efficient use of EU money, according to the EC. The new mechanism should secure the protection of the EU budget from financial risks linked with general deficiencies pertaining to the rule of law in the member states.

“The new proposed tools would allow the Union to suspend, reduce or restrict access to EU funding in a manner proportionate to the nature, gravity and scope of the rule of law deficiencies,” reads the document.

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