Parliament votes urgent €2.7 billion amending budget to close resources gap 

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Plenary session 

Parliament approved €2.7 billion in additional EU funding for 2013 on Thursday. The amending budget (N° 6) is needed because revenue from import duties collected at the EU's external borders is far lower than was forecast by Eurostat (and endorsed by the EU member states) and thus had to be replaced by a higher GNI contribution from EU countries.

The amending budget was approved with 428 votes in favour, 44 against and 76 abstentions.

Earlier this week, Parliament's Budgets Committee approved the amending budget at a last-minute meeting following an appeal by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on Monday. He warned that the Commission would no longer be able to pay legitimate bills from mid-November onwards if the additional budget did not come through. The Council approved the request for urgent additional funding via a fast-track procedure on Monday.

Budgets Committee chair Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR) underlined on Wednesday that this €2.7 billion amending budget has nothing to do with two other draft amending budgets.

These budgets are needed to make good the budgetary shortfall on the expenditure side in 2013 (DAB 8, €3.9 billion), and to repair flood damage in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic and remedy the effects of drought in Romania (DAB 9, €400 million).

"This vote concerns a budget to fill a gap on the resources side. It is not about a bigger budget, but about making up for lower than expected own resources for the existing budget", Mr Lamassoure said after Wednesday's vote on the EU budget for 2014.

Parliament will not agree to start budgetary 2014 with a deficit

The Lithuanian Council Presidency has promised that the Council will decide on the other two outstanding budget amendments at an extraordinary General Affairs Council on 30 October. Approval of these budgets is linked to negotiations on the EU's long-run budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework) and those on the 2014 budget, as Parliament insists it will not allow the EU to start the 2014 budgetary year with a deficit.

Rapporteur on the 2013 budget Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT) welcomed the Lithuanian Presidency's commitment to settle the other two amending budgets: "It will allow the Commission to drive on for a short while, but at far from cruising speed. We cannot go on filling gaps by creating others. I hope it is now clear to the Council that once you commit funds, you are then obliged to foot the bills", he said.

For more information on the amending budgets, the MFF and the 2014 Budget, see the link to the background note.