EU Budget deal: EP achieves best support for youth and growth initiatives
MEPs have fought for and obtained better support for unemployed youngsters and additional funds to boost key initiatives supporting SMEs, transport infrastructure projects, research and Erasmus+ student mobility. The provisional deal on the EU Budget 2017 with the Council was reached in the early hours of Thursday. After Budget MEPs and Council have formally endorsed the agreement, the new EU budget will be voted in plenary in December.
The preliminary figures are €157.88 billion in commitment appropriations and €134.49 billion in payment appropriations. Detailed figures will be available later.
Members of the parliamentary negotiating team made the following statements after the closure of talks early Thursday:
“In turbulent times, it is most reassuring that the EU institutions can agree - late at night, but on time - on a budget for Europe. With a special emphasis on growth-oriented programmes and extra money for Erasmus and the Youth Employment Initiative, Parliament has decided to invest in the future. That's what Europe needs right now”, said the Chair of the Budgets committee, Jean Arthuis (ALDE, FR).
“We have reached our aims. The 2017 Budget clearly focuses on our priorities of boosting growth, creating jobs – especially for youngsters – and tackling the migration crisis. We have obtained a maximum also in order to deal with the root causes of migration, in tough negotiations with the Council on the details but in a constructive manner on the whole, and I am satisfied with the result”, said lead rapporteur (Commission section) Jens Geier (S&D, DE).
“It is deeply regrettable, if not unacceptable, that the generous appropriations for former commissioners’ remunerations are still not accompanied by a stricter Code of Conduct which is particularly in line with the most recent Barroso, Kallas, Kroes and Oettinger cases. We will keep on fighting for more transparency and integrity”, said the rapporteur for the other sections Indrek Tarand (Greens/EFA, EE).
Youth, growth and jobs
Parliament has secured €500 million on top of the draft budget for the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) to help youngsters desperately seeking a job. A further €200 million on will boost key initiatives for growth and jobs like COSME (supporting SMEs), Connecting Europe Facility (CEF, financing infrastructure projects), Horizon 2020 (research projects) and Erasmus+ for student mobility.
Refugee and migration crisis
On top of a reinforcements package of €725 million for migration related funds, MEPs have secured €28 million more for UNRWA (support to Palestine refugees, total of €310m) and €3m more to support peace talks in Cyprus (total of €34.8m).Next stepsAfter Council has formally adopted the compromise, it will be voted in plenary in the European Parliament (most likely on 1st December in Brussels) and signed into law by its President.