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Budget: how the European Parliament makes the most of its annual funding

 
 

Parliament is able to support the work of its 751 MEPs and operate in 24 different languages thanks to its annual budget. This represents one fifth of all EU institutions’ total administrative expenditure and only 1.2% of the EU’s general budget. The vast majority of EU funding is invested directly in the member states.

 
What Parliament’s budget is used for

Parliament’s budget for 2017 adds up to €1.9 billion. Staff expenses account for 44% of this, mainly salaries for the 6,000 officials working for the Parliament and the political groups. This also covers interpretation costs and staff mission expenses.

As Parliament represents people in all member states, it is important that everyone is able to follow its work in their own language. This is why many of Parliament’s permanent, temporary and freelance staff are working to translate documents or interpret its meetings in all of the EU’s official 24 languages.

About 22% of the 2017 budget is used to cover MEPs’ expenses, including salaries, travel expenses, offices and the pay of personal assistants.

Expenditure on Parliament's buildings accounts for 14% of the 2017 budget. It includes rent, construction, maintenance, security and the running costs in the three main places of work - Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg - as well as for its information offices in the 28 member states.

Information policy and administrative expenditure such as IT and telecommunications accounts for 15% in 2017. Political group activities will make up a further 6% of the budget.

 
How the budget is decided

The procedure for drawing up Parliament's budget normally starts in February. The Secretary-General comes up with a proposal, defining the priorities and resources for the following year. The bureau, composed of the President and the 14 Vice-Presidents, use this as the basis for adopting preliminary draft estimates and submits them to the budgets committee.

One of the committee members - known as the budget rapporteur - is appointed to draw up a report outlining Parliament’s work priorities and proposing how much money should be spent on them. First the budgets committee votes on the report and then all MEPs vote on it during a plenary session, usually in May. These estimates are then incorporated in the EU’s draft budget for the following year, which MEPs amend and adopt during a plenary session in December at the latest.