This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.
MEPs have fought for and obtained better support for health, research, climate action, SMEs and the young in next year’s EU budget, after talks with Council on Monday.
On Monday evening, the negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the 2022 EU Budget, shortly before the deadline of the conciliation period, ending on Monday 15 November at midnight. Parliament has obtained in total €479.1 million for its priorities on top of what the Commission has proposed in the Draft budget updated with the Letter of amendment.
The preliminary figures are €169.5 billion in commitment appropriations and €170.6 billion in payment appropriations. Detailed figures will be available later.
MEPs were successful in increasing funding for programmes and policies which they see as contributing to the post-pandemic recovery, in line with Parliament’s priorities set out in its guidelines for 2022. These include the Horizon Europe research programme (+€100 million above the Commission’s draft budget) and the environment and climate action LIFE programme (+€47.5 million). The Single Market Programme is topped up by €30 million (including €10 million for tourism sector), and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office by €3.8 million, protecting European taxpayers’ money from criminals.
Young people and health
Support for young people is a key priority for Parliament: MEPs managed to increase Erasmus+ by €35 million. EU4Health has also been boosted, with an additional €51 million to build up a strong European Health Union and to make national health systems more resilient.
Humanitarian aid, migration, external assistance
The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI – Global Europe) was topped up by €190 million, with a particular focus on fighting the pandemics, including through vaccinations.
Humanitarian Aid was topped by EUR 211 million, to allow for the Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve to be able to cover increased needs of the EU Solidarity Fund in relation with the natural catastrophes in the EU.
As part of the overall agreement, draft amending budgets 5 and 6, focusing on the help to the Syrian refugees in Turkey and the region, and financing 200 million vaccination doses through the COVAX mechanism, were also agreed.
Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets: “Overall, I am pleased with the agreement reached today. It contains important responses to the challenges the Union faces today. In the field of health to further combat the COVID-19 crisis but equally so when it comes to the research and innovation needed to modernize our economies, and the protection of our common borders.”
Karlo Ressler (EPP, HR), general rapporteur for the EU budget 2022 (for section III – Commission): “The budget negotiations took place in difficult circumstances, during the fight against the pandemic and its consequences, and we can be satisfied with the result. Parliament managed to reinforce the next European budget with almost 500 million Euro. The reinforcements will boost Europe’s recovery and pave a way for a more resilient Union, with a focus on support for small and medium sized enterprises, enhance student mobility, build a stronger health Union as well as further invest in digital and green transitions. Special focus was put on the external dimensions with additional support to humanitarian aid and support for vaccination efforts worldwide. This budget is a clear message for all Europeans that Europe is committed to a strong recovery, for all sectors, all regions and all generations.”
Damian Boeselager (Greens/EFA, DE), rapporteur for the other sections: “I welcome the agreement, as it will ensure the proper functioning of the institutions as well as better scrutiny of all Union instruments such as the ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery plan.”
After Council has formally adopted the compromise, it will be discussed in the Committee on Budgets on Thursday (18 November), then voted on in plenary in the European Parliament (during the November session in Strasbourg) and signed into law by its President.
Around 93% of the EU’s budget goes to citizens, regions, cities, farmers and businesses.