EU 2020 budget: More money for environment

The first conciliation meeting will take place on 4 November

Photo: EP Monika Hohlmeier

To top up with €2.7bn the proposed by the Commission 2020 EU budget agreed MEPs during the plenary session in Strasbourg on Wednesday. Lawmakers adopted their position on next year's financial plan, the last for the current multiannual framework 2014-2020. They accented precisely on tackling climate change and youth unemployment, and also on boosting SMEs and research.

Deputies underlined that the 2020 budget should be “a bridge to a future Europe”, investing in creating jobs, research and supporting the young.

The adopted position foresees a budget of €171.3bn in commitments. Payment appropriations are set at €159bn.

Today's vote on the 2020 budget shows Parliament's united front and a common understanding among the political groups: ambitious climate targets and environmental protection can go hand in hand with programmes that create new jobs, support European research and development facilities and boost competitiveness, Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), general rapporteur for the 2020 EU budget, Commission section, explained.

DiscoverEU, a project to provide 18-year-olds with Interrail tickets to give them the opportunity to discover a Europe without borders was also beefed up.

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, rapporteur on the EU 2020 budget for the other sections, pointed out that, of the extra €2.7bn, almost €2bn will be used to strengthen the fight against climate change, “one of the greatest challenges we face”. We have reinforced all the budget lines that are related to climate change, from supporting transport and energy infrastructure projects necessary to reach a decarbonisation objective, to the promotion of research in future-oriented technologies, climate-related and environmental programmes and projects, she stated.

Initiatives that benefit non-EU countries also got a strong financial boost. Substantial prop was directed to Youth Employment Initiative with extra €363.3m, raising the total for the next year to €480m. More funding is dedicated for Erasmus+, for SMEs and for research and innovation in areas such as digital and health, among others.

Talking about the funding of the EU institutions, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial criticized the false slogan of “doing more with less”. We cannot afford to put your work at risk by cutting your operating budgets, and I will put all my effort into the next negotiations with the Council, she declared.

According to the procedure, the first conciliation meeting with the Council will take place on 4 November. The EP's negotiating team will try to reach a deal with the Council before the end of the three-week long conciliation period on 18 November. Should no agreement be reached during this period, the Commission would have to table a new draft budget for the year 2020. On the same day, the Council has informed the EP that it cannot accept all the amendments for the 2020 EU budget adopted in the plenary.

Similar articles