30 Nov 2017


Brussels, Brussels Daily

On 30 November 2017, the Council and the European Parliament separately approved the deal reached on 18 November 2017 in the conciliation committee on the 2018 budget. The EU budget for 2018 is therefore adopted.

“The European Parliament and the Council share the same two main priorities for the financial year 2018: to tackle migration and security, and to boost innovation, growth and employment in Europe. I am convinced that we have achieved a good and balanced result, allowing the Union to act and to react to the various needs.”

Märt Kivine, deputy finance minister of Estonia and chief Council negotiator for the 2018 EU budget

More payments for current programmes

The 2018 EU budget is set at €160.1 billion in commitments. This is an increase of 0.2% compared to the 2017 EU budget as amended over the past months. A margin of €1.6 billion is left under the expenditure ceilings of the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, allowing the EU to react to unforeseen needs.

Total payments amount to €144.7 billion, rising 14.1% from 2017. Payments increase significantly because the implementation of the 2014-2020 programmes is expected to reach full speed in 2018.

Strong support for key priorities

The Council continues to attach particular importance to investment in competitiveness, jobs and growth, while focusing on areas that deliver EU added value. This is reflected in reinforcements to several programmes under Sub-heading 1a (Smart and inclusive growth). The 2018 budget allocates €11.2 billion for the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 which is an increase of 8.4% compared to the 2017 EU budget. The Connecting Europe Facility receives €2.7 billion, 7.9% more compared to 2017, to finance projects in the fields of transport, energy, and information and communication technology. Additional funds are also provided for the COSME programme in support of SMEs (€354 million in total, +1.4%).

Support for young people remains another key priority. Allocations for the Erasmus+ programme are increased by 12.1% to €2.3 billion. The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) has received €350 million to help improve the possibilities for young people of getting a job. During the budget negotiations the EU institutions also stressed the need to speed up the implementation of YEI. The creation of the new European Solidarity Corps, which provides opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects that benefit communities across Europe, is also reflected in the budget.

To better tackle migration and security related challenges, agencies in the field of security and citizenship will receive €940 million, 8.9% more than in 2017. The additional support is mainly aimed at strengthening Europol, Eurojust and the European Asylum Support Office.

More money is also made available for environmental and climate action under the LIFE programme, which receives €523 million, 5.9% more than in 2017.

Pre-accession funds cut for Turkey

In view of the situation in Turkey as regards democracy, rule of law, human rights and press freedom, its pre-accession funds have been cut by €105 million compared to the Commission’s initial proposal, with a further €70 million held in reserve until the country makes “measurable sufficient improvements” in these fields.

The 2018 EU budget also strengthens the strategic communication capacity of the European External Action Service, which receives €0.8 million to be able to step up the fight against disinformation.

Headings                                                                        2018 EU budget (in € million)

                                                                                  Commitments                Payments

  1. Smart and inclusive growth                                           77,534                         66,624

– 1a. Competitiveness for growth and jobs             22,001                         20,097

– 1b. Economic, social and territorial cohesion      55,532                         46,527

  1. Sustainable growth: natural resources                        59,285                        56,084
  2. Security and citizenship                                                    3,493                           2,981
  3. Global Europe                                                                    9,569                           8,906
  4. Administration                                                                   9,666                           9,666

Special instruments                                                               0,567                           0,420

TOTAL                                                                                 160,114                        144,681

2017 budget: adjustments adopted

On 27 November 2017, the Council also approved the Commission’s proposal to update the figures for the 2017 budget by decreasing the planned commitments and payments by €61 million and €7.7 billion respectively. The EP formally adopted the proposal on 30 November 2017.


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