2020 EU budget: Council supports continued focus on growth, innovation, security and migration

The Council wants the EU’s budget to continue to focus on strengthening the European economy and boosting its competitiveness. Other priorities include ensuring sufficient funding for migration and the protection of the EU’s external borders, strengthening civil protection, tackling climate change and providing adequate resources for external action in line with the EU’s strategic interests.

As in previous years, member states also insist on budgetary prudence and discipline. They want to ensure sufficient leeway in the budget to allow the EU to react to unforeseen needs.

These principles guide the Council’s position on the 2020 EU budget, adopted today.

“Next year’s budget is about continuity. Member states want to focus on the key policy areas and best-performing programmes where there is clear European added value, whilst also ensuring a prudent approach. I am glad that the Council’s position was adopted with the overwhelming support of the member states. This provides a strong basis for our discussions with the Parliament in the coming months.”

Kimmo Tiilikainen, State Secretary, Ministry of Finance of Finland, chief Council negotiator for the 2020 EU budget

The Council continues to support the reinforcement of the programmes under the “Competitiveness for growth and jobs” heading, which would receive €24.0 billion, or +2.72% compared to 2019. This comes on top of the resources dedicated to economic, social and territorial cohesion (€58.5 billion, or +2,23%).

More funding compared to 2019 is foreseen, for instance, for Horizon 2020, Europe’s satellite navigation systems EGNOS and Galileo, the energy strand of the Connection Europe Facility, Erasmus+ and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme.

In the field of security and migration, the EU budget will continue to support member states and the EU measures that have been put in place in the past few years. Additional resources are budgeted for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) (€101.4 million, or +32.4% compared to 2019) to set up a standing corps of 10 000 border guards by 2027.

Overall, the draft Council position foresees an amount of €166.8 billion in commitment appropriations and €153.1 billion in payment appropriations. This is an increase of +0.6 % in commitments and +3.3 % in payments when compared to the budget voted in 2019.

Based on a detailed technical analysis of the absorption capacity and implementation of each programme, the commitments have been decreased by -€1.5 billion compared to the Commission’s draft budget. On payments, significant adjustments were not considered necessary or appropriate. 

The Council’s decision confirms the agreement reached by EU ambassadors at the meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee on 10 July.