Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have reached an agreement on the EU budget for 2023 as proposed by the European Commission. The proposal concerns commitments of €186 billion and payments of €168.7 billion.
Once adopted, the budget will allow the EU to mobilize significant funds to help mitigate the consequences of Russia’s aggression, which affects not only Ukraine but also all southern neighboring countries and Member States. In addition, it is intended to further support the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the protection of existing jobs, and the creation of new ones.
Maximise the EU budget for the collective strength of the EU
On this important topic, Brussels Morning consulted the EPP Group lead negotiator on the EU budget for 2023 to get a clear picture of the developing situation.
“Common sense has prevailed” according to the EPP Group’s lead negotiator, Janusz Lewandowski MEP, who hailed the deal as “a win for citizens” since the Parliament had prevented most of the €1.6 billion in cutbacks proposed by the Council.
“Our aim was to maximise the EU budget for 2023 so that the collective strength of EU funds can ease the burden of the crises hitting all our Member States right now. We are in war times and therefore, we need a war-time budget”, Lewandowski said.
“The Parliament secured a €687.3 million in commitments increase on the 2023 EU Budget in negotiations and €148.8 million (based on art 15.3 of the Financial Regulation) reinforcement for Horizon Europe by so-called decommitments– this means more money for households, businesses and communities through EU money being invested right across our Union.
“The EPP Group prioritised research and innovation by topping up the Horizon Europe allocation by €80 million. An extra €103.5 million is allocated to the Connecting Europe Facility, which supports jobs, growth and competitiveness. We also secured increases in funding for SMEs through the Single Market Programme; EU4Health which includes the vital Beating Cancer plan; Erasmus+ for youth; the military mobility budget is increased as is funding for our neighbourhood programmes, including aid for Ukraine.”
However, the EU’s budgetary battle is far from over, according to MEP Lewandowski who repeated the EPP Group’s warning that squeezed margins and a lack of flexibility sharply highlight the inadequacy of the Union’s long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
“At the same time, the proposal on the second basket of new own resources needs to be accelerated in order to pay off NextGenerationEU debt and protect future budgets”, Lewandowski underlined.
“The EU was forged out of the ashes of war and crisis in order to build a more prosperous, peaceful future together. Member States have proven that they can and do work together in solidarity in times of need. Leadership and unity of purpose will be crucial in the months ahead”
“It is our duty to solve today the problems faced by Europeans”, Mr Lewandowski added.
EU budget 2023 figures
14.7 billion: Supporting our neighbours and international development and cooperation. The agreement includes specific increases for the Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument, focusing on Ukraine and Moldova, and on migration to the Southern Neighbourhood, as well as for the humanitarian aid programme to address crises around the world.
1.5 billion: for the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund.
956.8 million: To the Integrated Border Management Fund to enhance cooperation in the management of external borders, as well as for migration and asylum policy, including support to Member States receiving refugees from Ukraine.
3 billion: To the Connecting Europe Facility, to create a modernised, high-performance transport infrastructure to facilitate cross-border connections.
295.2 million: To military mobility to improve civilian and military mobility.
3.7 billion: Erasmus+ to invest in the youth population, including students fleeing Ukraine.
332.8 million: Earmarked for the cultural and creative sectors through the Creative Europe programme.
62.9 billion: In commitments to support the ongoing recovery by boosting investment in economic, social, and territorial cohesion.
53.6 billion: to the common agricultural policy.
1.1 billion: To the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, for the benefit of European farmers and fishermen, and also to strengthen the resilience of the agri-food and fisheries sectors and create the necessary scope for crisis management.
12.4 billion: To Horizon Europe, to support European research in health, digital technologies, industry, space, climate, energy and mobility.
602.8 million: For the Single Market Programme to support small and medium-sized enterprises across the Union.
739.3 million: To the EUHealth Programme, to boost EU Health and provide a comprehensive response to the health needs of European citizens.
1.5 billion: from the Just Transition Fund, to ensure that the transition to climate neutrality serves everyone.
755.5 million: under the LIFE programme, to support environment and climate action.
309.9 million: to the Internal Security Fund.
945.7 million: to the European Defence Fund to support European strategic independence and security.
157 million: For the European defence industry effort through the Common Procurement Act.