Explanatory note MFF, Budgets 2013/2014 and Amending Budgets 6,7,8,9
Over the last three years, annual budget for payments needed to foot the bills handed in by member states* were always tight. A number of member states - confronted with budget constraints at home - were reluctant to provide the amounts needed to fulfil the Union's legal obligations.
*N.B. most of the payments (some 80%) are made (pre-financed) by the member states themselves, who then ask the Commission to reimburse them.
When Parliament and Council decided on the budget for 2013 in December of last year, both institutions acknowledged that the budget in payments for 2013 would be too low to pay all the incoming bills. Erasmus and some other programmes ran dry already mid 2012 and as a result Council and Parliament signed a joint declaration to avoid similar situations in 2013. This declaration was annexed to the formal Budget and published in the Official Journal. In case of a shortfall, Council, Parliament and Commission agreed to remedy such situation as early as possible in 2013 by adding additional funds.