Tackling COVID-19: Council adopts amended EU budget for 2020
The EU is making available almost all the remaining money from this year’s budget to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council has today adopted by written procedure two proposals which amend the EU budget for 2020 in order to free up funds to respond to the COVID-19 crisis
Money is also being made available to help Greece deal with increased migratory pressures, and to support Albania’s post-earthquake reconstruction.
Commitments have been increased overall by €3.57 billion and amount to €172.2 billion. Payments have been increased by €1.6 billion, reaching a total of €155.2 billion.
The revised EU budget for 2020 unlocks crucial resources to address the unprecedented challenges facing the EU and its member states. Our top priority is to help national health systems tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. This money will be used to fund medical supplies, to construct field hospitals, and to transfer patients for treatment in other member states.
Zdravko Maric, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Draft amending budget No 1 increases commitments by €567 million and payments by €77 million.
- €115 million is earmarked for co-financing measures to address the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes helping member states repatriate stranded citizens as well as obtain personal protective equipment through joint procurements. A further €3.6 million is committed to strengthening the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
- €350 million will be made available to support Greece as the country faces increasing migratory pressures. The funds will be used to develop reception facilities, enhance the asylum systems and procedures, and improve the protection of the external borders of Greece and Bulgaria. Some of these measures will also help combat COVID-19, as migrants and refugees represent a highly vulnerable group.
- €100 million is allocated to supporting reconstruction in Albania in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit the country on 26 November 2019.
- Other minor adjustments are implemented for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, the European Court of Auditors and the Ombudsman.
Draft amending budget No 2 earmarks an additional €3 billion in commitments and €1.53 billion in payments to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
€2.7 billion will be used to fund the provision of emergency healthcare support such as the stockpiling and distribution of essential resources, the creation of temporary hospitals, and the cross-border transportation of patients.
These actions will be channelled through the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), which was created in 2016 to deal with the massive influx of refugees in Greece. To this end, the Council has in parallel adopted a regulation to reactivate the ESI and broaden its scope.
The remaining €300 million will be used to increase capacities for stockpiling, coordinating and distributing essential medical supplies, such as protective gear and ventilators. Such measures will be financed through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism/rescEU.
- Draft amending budget (DAB) No 2/2020
- Council regulation activating the emergency support and amending its provisions
|Headings||Amended 2020 EU budget (in € billion)|
|1.||Smart and inclusive growth||83 930 597 837||72 353 828 442|
|1a||Competitiveness for growth and jobs||25 284 773 982||22 308 071 592|
|1b||Economic social and territorial cohesion||58 645 823 855||50 045 756 850|
|2.||Sustainable growth: natural resources||59 907 021 051||57 904 492 439|
|3.||Security and citizenship||7 152 374 489||5 278 527 141|
|4.||Global Europe||10 406 572 239||8 944 061 191|
|5.||Administration||10 271 193 494||10 274 196 704|
|Other special Instruments||587 763 000||418 500 000|
|Total||172 255 522 110||155 173 605 917|
The amended budget increases by €3.4 billion the commitments under heading 3 (security and citizenship) of the multiannual financial framework (MFF). This amount will be financed through existing special instruments which the EU can mobilise to respond to unforeseen events, namely:
- the Global Margin for Commitments for an amount of €2.4 billion
- the Flexibility Instrument for an amount of €316 million
- the Contingency Margin for the balance of €714.6 million
Commitments under heading 4 (global Europe) have been increased by €145 million in the revised budget. This amount is financed from the unallocated margin available under this heading (€248 million).
As a result of this, the Global Margin for Commitments and the Flexibility Instrument are completely exhausted. To enable this, the Council adopted an amendment to the MFF regulation removing the limitations on the scope of the Global Margin for Commitments. The Council also adopted a proposal to adjust the amounts used from the Flexibility Instrument as well as a proposal to use the Contingency Margin.
- Council regulation amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 laying down the MFF for the years 2014-2020
- Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision (EU) 2020/265 as regards adjustments to the amounts mobilised from the Flexibility Instrument for 2020
- Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin in 2020
During its plenary on 16-17 April 2020, the European Parliament is expected to agree its position on the two draft amending budget proposals. Once there is an agreement, the budget will be adopted. The European Parliament will also agree its position on the three proposals on the special financial instruments.