More money for youth in next year's EU budget

The amount dedicated for the Erasmus+ was reinforced by €362m

Photo: EP Paul Rubig is the co-rapporteur on the dossier.

Boosting sustainable growth, innovation, competitiveness, security, tackling the root causes of refugee and migration flows, managing refugee and migration flows, the fight against climate change, the transition to sustainable energy, and a particular focus on young people are the most important tasks as regards to the 2019 EU budget, according to the lawmakers from the Committee on Budgets. On 9 October, MEPs from the Committee adopted a motion for a resolution on next year's EU budget, co-drafted by Italian S&D MEP Daniele Viotti, who is the general rapporteur on the dossier, and Austrian EPP MEP Paul Rubig. The proposed budget is €166.3bn in commitments, or €721m more than the Commission suggested in its initial proposal, and €149.3bn in payments, including special instruments.

This Resolution complements the vote on figures held on 26 September and in fact is the MEPs' position on next year's EU budget. The full house will finally confirm this position on 24 October at the plenary session in Strasbourg. Pursuant to the conciliation procedure, the negotiations with Council on adoption of the 2019 EU budget have to start in November.

MEPs strongly opposed the cuts that the Council made in early September in view to next year's budget. Lawmakers voted in favour to beef up the programmes that are propping up the young, with significant increases to Erasmus+, enforced by €362m, and the Youth Employment Initiative, which was raised to €580m from €346.7m. They restored with small exceptions all downsized money and increased the funds available also for climate safeguarding, financing research, coping with migration, and investing in infrastructure. The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive €28.9m more. The countries affected by the African swine fever will get additional €50m.

MEPs put special accent to initiatives that are dedicated to address migration challenges within the EU. They backed the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund with €33m additional cash. The pre-EFSI budgets of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which funds infrastructure projects, will be completely restored, and the Horizon 2020 programme, which funds research projects, is to receive extra €256.9m. Both initiatives had faced cuts as part of measures to help finance the EU guarantee for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

MEPs further increased Horizon 2020 by another €65m, and climate-related spending, CEF and some other programmes by another €97.3m. In the Council position, Horizon 2020 envisages €300m less than the Commission's proposal.

The European Neighbourhood Instrument got €146m more, and the pre-accession support for the Western Balkans was boosted with extra €56.3m.


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