The European Council gives go-ahead to EU annual budget for 2024
Member states' representatives formalised the understanding reached with European Parliament negotiators on the EU 2024 budget. Commitments of 189.3 billion euros, in line with the Commission's original proposal, and payments of 142.6 billion are foreseen.
The joint text agreed upon by the Council and Parliament in fact restores the funds initially cut by the 27, which had reduced the 2024 budget proposal presented by the European Commission by 772 million euros.
European funds: the Commission's 2024 EU budget proposal
The European budget proposal presented on 7 June by the Commission provides for commitments of 189.3 billion for 2024, allocated among the various priorities as follows:
- 53.8 billion euros for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and 1.1 billion euros for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), for European farmers and fishermen, including to strengthen the resilience of the agri-food and fisheries sectors and provide the necessary room for manoeuvre in the event of a crisis;
- 47.9 billion euros for regional development and economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as for financing infrastructure to support green transition and EU priority projects;
- 15.8 billion euros to support European partners and interests in the world, such as the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI - Global Europe), the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III) and Humanitarian Aid (HUMA);
- 13.6 billion euros for research and innovation, devoted to Horizon Europe and the European Chips Act;
- 4.6 billion euros for European strategic investments, including Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to improve cross-border infrastructure, the Digital Europe programme to shape the Union's digital future and the InvestEU for investments in research and innovation, digital transition, and strategic technologies;
- 2.1 billion euros for space, mainly for the European Space Programme, which will bring together the Union's action in this strategic field;
- 10.3 billion euros for people, social cohesion and values, distributed on NextGenerationEU, Erasmus+, but also to support artists and creators across Europe through Creative Europe, and promote justice, rights and values;
- 2.4 billion euros for environment and climate action, including the LIFE programme and the Just Transition Fund;
- 2.2 billion euros for border protection, partially devoted to the Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) and 874 million euros (total EU contribution) for the European Border and Coastguard Agency (Frontex);
- 1.7 billion euros for migration-related expenditure, of which 1.5 billion euros to support migrants and asylum seekers;
- 1.6 billion euros to address defence challenges, in particular to support capability development and research under the European Defence Fund, military mobility, the new short-term defence instrument (EDIRPA) and support munitions production;
- 947 million euros to ensure the functioning of the single market, of which 602 million euros for the Single Market programme and 200 million euros for anti-fraud, tax and customs activities;
- 754 million euros for EU4Health, to ensure a comprehensive health response to people's needs, as well as 230 million euros for the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU) to be able to provide rapid operational assistance in the event of crises;
- 26 million euros for security, of which a part will be devoted to the Internal Security Fund (ISF), which deals with terrorism, radicalisation, organised crime and cybercrime;
- 213 million euros for secure satellite connections under the new Union Secure Connectivity Programme.
The agreement between Parliament and Council on the EU Budget 2024
In its negotiating position - adopted by Coreper on 12 July - the Council had foreseen EUR 772 million less than the original draft budget proposed by the Commission. Cuts rejected by the Parliament with the position approved in plenary in October, in the light of the uncertainty linked to the new geopolitical context, with the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel and the continuation of the war in Ukraine, and the needs linked to the worsening climate and biodiversity crisis.
The three weeks of 'conciliation' talks between the two institutions ended with an agreement that brings commitments back to 189.3 billion, with 360 million made available (within the expenditure ceiling of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework) to handle unforeseen needs, and the level of payments to 142.6 billion.
Once the understanding was reached, the 14-day period to formalise the agreement began. The Council gave its green light, by qualified majority, on 20 November, while the EP vote is expected this week in plenary, with a draft agenda on 22 November.