On 4 December 2018, the Austrian presidency and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the EU budget for 2019.
This paves the way for the adoption of the budget before the end of the year, if the deal is backed by member states in the Council and the EP plenary next week.
Under the agreement, the total commitments in the 2019 EU budget are set at €165.8 billion and payments at €148.2 billion. This is an increase of 3.17% in commitments and 2.37% in payments compared to 2018.
I am glad to announce an agreement on a budget for 2019 which strongly reflects the priorities of the Council and the Parliament – growth and jobs, young people, security and migration. We have boosted support for the EU’s flagship programmes, while ensuring good value for money and room for manoeuvre to cater for unexpected needs.
Hartwig Löger, minister for finance of Austria and chief Council negotiator for the 2019 EU budget
Some elements of the agreement are as follows:
- Commitments of €23.3 billion (+6.07% compared to 2018) were agreed to support growth and job creation under subheading 1a (competitiveness for growth and jobs). This includes more funds for research and innovation (Horizon 2020, €12.3 billion), infrastructure projects (Connecting Europe Facility, €3.8 billion), youth exchanges (Erasmus+, €2.8 billion) and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME, €0.4 billion).
- The Youth Employment Initiative receives an additional €350 million to help improve young people’s chances of getting a job.
- In the field of migration and security, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund gets a strong boost, with €1.1 billion (+55.85% compared to 2018) allocated to migration management. The Internal Security Fund will receive €533.5 million. Additional funds are provided for several agencies in charge of responding to the current migration and security challenges.
- The 2019 EU budget will contribute €1.45 billion to the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. This is in line with the agreement reached between the member states on how to finance an additional €3 billion for the facility to support Syrian refugees.
- Pre-accession funds to Turkey have been cut by €146.7 million compared to the financial programming in view of the situation in Turkey as regards democracy, rule of law, human rights and press freedom.
|Headings||2019 EU budget (in € billion)|
|1. Smart and inclusive growth||80.527||67.557|
|– 1a. Competitiveness for growth and jobs||23.335||20.522|
|– 1b. Economic, social and territorial cohesion||57.192||47.035|
|2. Sustainable growth: natural resources||59.642||57.400|
|3. Security and citizenship||3.787||3.527|
|4. Global Europe||11.319||9.358|
Background and next steps
The budgetary conciliation period laid down in the treaties ended on 19 November without agreement between the Council and the Parliament on the EU budget for 2019. The Commission therefore presented a new draft budget on 30 November. Negotiations in the form of a budgetary trilogue on 4 December took place on this basis.
In order to formally adopt the EU budget for 2019, the Council now needs to adopt its position on the Commission’s new draft budget, taking into account the agreement reached with the Parliament. This is scheduled to take place at the meeting of the General Affairs Council on 11 December.
The Parliament will then need to formally endorse the deal as well, by approving the Council’s position. The vote in the Parliament is expected to take place at the plenary session next week.