EU 2019 budget priorities  

Next year’s EU budget should focus on young people, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. Other priorities are growth, innovation, competitiveness, security, fighting climate change, switching to renewable energy and migration.

This will be Parliament's first response to the EU draft budget for 2019, as presented by the Commission on 23 May.

In the draft text, MEPs:

  • say that the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) should be further strengthened,

  • welcome proposed increases for Horizon 2020 research programmes, the Connecting Europe Facility (infrastructure investments), Erasmus+ and security-related programmes. However, they also say the Erasmus+ budget should be “at least doubled” and 

  • agree that migration should remain a “top Union priority in 2019” and deem it crucial to maintain spending in this area at a high and stable level.

The consolidated draft report tabled for the plenary vote will be available here.

Next steps

Parliament will set out its position on the 2019 budget at its 2-5 July plenary session. The Council will then present its informal position and the first three-way (“trilogue”) talks between the two arms of the budgetary authority (Parliament and Council) and the EU Commission will be held on 12 July. Talks will then resume in September, in an effort to reach an agreement before the end of the year.


The draft EU budget for 2019 includes two amounts for each programme to be financed – commitments and payments. "Commitments" refers to the funding that can be agreed in contracts in a given year; "payments" to the money actually paid out. The proposed budget amounts to €166 billion in commitments (+3% over 2018) and €149 billion in payments (+3% over 2018).

Generally speaking, the EU budget is primarily an investment budget. Amounting to roughly 1% of EU GNI, and representing around 2% of all EU public spending, it aims to complement national budgets and implement priorities which all EU members have agreed upon.

Procedure:  Budgetary


Debate: Wednesday, 4 July

Vote: Thursday, 5 July