Pier Carlo Padoan / © European Union
A package comprising the 2015 EU budget and the pending draft amendment budgets for 2014, notably to meet outstanding payments, was endorsed by the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee on 9 December.
"The budget agreement approved today squares the circle between three crucial challenges: the need to address the backlog of payments, the importance not to jeopardise member states' efforts to consolidate their public finance and the necessity to provide indispensable stimuli for creating jobs and generating growth in the future", said Pier Carlo Padoan, the Italian Minister for Finance and President of the Council.
As regards the 2015 budget, the compromise reached sets the total payments at € 141.2 billion and total commitments to € 145.3 billion. This leaves sufficient margins under the ceilings of the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) 2014-2020 to allow the EU to react to unforeseen events. The payments for activities such as research, innovation and education increase by more than 38% or € 4.4 billion compared to the 2014 EU budget as adopted last year.
The support measures for farmers hit by the Russian food ban are financed through higher than expected financial surpluses and corrections within the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund rather than by the agricultural crisis reserve. To remedy damages caused by natural disasters payments of a total amount of € 126.7 billion are mobilised under the EU solidarity fund to the benefit of Serbia (€ 60.2 million), Slovenia (€ 18.4 million), Croatia (€ 17.6 million), Italy (€ 16.3 million), Bulgaria (€ 10.5 million) and Greece (€ 3.7 million).
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