Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission has proposed an EU budget of around 310 billion euro for 2022 to speed up the bloc’s recovery and progress towards meeting its environmental goals. With the addition of recovery funds, the EU annual budget for 2022 will be nearly 90% bigger than the current year.
A break-down of the budget shows that 167 billion euro is to be channelled from EU funds while 143.5 billion euro will be allocated under the NexGenerationEU, notably, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
EU funds benefiting from the budget include the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (53 billion euro), InvestEU (1.2 billion euro), Connecting Europe Facility (2.8 billion euro), Erasmus+ (3.4 billion euro), the European Defence Fund (232 million euro) and the recently approved Just Transition Fund (17.5 billion euro).
The draft budget is expected to mobilise capital to boost overall economic recovery and it will also prioritise green and digital spending.
A significant part of the funds will be dedicated to combating climate change, in line with the target to spend 30% of the long-term budget on green ambitions, the Commission said.
“We are putting forward unprecedented levels of financial support to reinforce Europe´s recovery from the health and economic crises”, Commissioner Johannes Hahn noted in his address to the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets on 8 June.
Responding, MEP Karlo Ressler (EPP) cited the need for an urgent recovery from the economic and social crisis, which, he pointed out, “has hit people, sectors and regions unequally”.
Despite positive signals on the status of the pandemic, the EU “should not lower its guard when it comes to public health”, Ressler cautioned, saying he hoped the 2022 budget would “lay the foundations for a more resilient union”.
“The next annual EU budget has to be a recovery budget in all its aspects. Recovery fitted for all regions, all sectors and all generations. This means prioritising those most affected by the economic crisis, such as small and medium enterprises and young generations”, he maintained
“The 2022 budget will be the first one to address a ‘new normal’ and includes lessons learned from the pandemic”, MEP Damian Boeselager (Greens/EFA) said.
Following the kick-off of the annual budgetary procedure, opened by Commissioner Hahn, the Parliament will vote its position for the negotiations during the plenary session of 18-21 October.