Supporting the recovery: MEPs vote on priorities for 2021 EU budget 

Press Releases 
  • More than €14 billion added to strengthen EU flagship programmes
  • Cuts by Council restored to the level of the Commission’s draft budget proposal
  • Further increases to reach a spending level for biodiversity of 10% and for climate mainstreaming of 30%

Budget MEPs want the EU to rise to the climate challenge and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a vote on Wednesday on their position on the 2021 EU budget.

MEPs adopted considerable increases to the 15 EU flagship programmes, boosting many programmes and projects that will support the young, researchers, health workers, entrepreneurs and many other citizens.

Other major additions to next year’s budget were voted for example in the areas of transport infrastructure, agriculture, fundamental rights, security or external action.

In line with the position of the negotiating team for the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) and Own Resources (OR), the Committee’s position on the 2021 draft budget is based on the MFF ceilings proposed by the Commission. It is also built on the assumption that any increase for the flagship programmes will be accompanied by the corresponding rise of the ceiling of the given MFF heading in the course of the MFF/OR negotiations.

Download the vote results here

Next steps

The details of the budget will be available shortly and a corresponding resolution will be voted by the committee at the end of the month. The whole Parliament will vote on its position on the 2021 draft budget during the 11-12 November plenary session. This will kick off three weeks of “conciliation” talks with the Council, with the aim of reaching a deal between the two institutions in time for next year’s budget to be voted on by Parliament and signed by its President in December.


On Wednesday, the Budgets Committee voted through a budget totalling approximately €181 billion in commitments (detailed figures available soon).

The preparations and negotiations of the Union’s 2021 budget are taking place under unusual circumstances, as there is still no political agreement on the MFF, which serves as the basis for the annual budgets.

The calendar for this year’s annual budgetary procedure is here.

In case the new MFF is not in place in time for 2021, MEPs have asked the Commission to propose an MFF contingency plan in order to protect beneficiaries of EU programmes and ensure continuity of funding.

About 93% of the EU budget funds real activities on the ground in EU countries and beyond. It goes to citizens, regions, cities, farmers, researchers, students, NGOs and businesses.

The EU budget is unique. Unlike national budgets, which are used in large part for providing public services and funding social security systems, the EU budget is primarily an investment budget and, unlike national budgets, the EU Budget cannot run a deficit.