Annual EU budgetary procedure: An introduction to the steps in the EP

Briefing 19-07-2019

The European Parliament (EP) and the Council are the budgetary authority of the European Union. The two institutions, assisted by the European Commission, decide on the budget in the annual EU budgetary procedure. The annual EU budget funds EU policies and programmes following the Union's political priorities and legal obligations. The financial year starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December. The European Parliament amends the Council position through the work of its Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and the specialised parliamentary committees. The EP then adopts the Parliament's reading in plenary session. This briefing presents possible scenarios set in the EU Treaties for adoption or non-adoption of the annual budget. It explains differences between the Treaty calendar and the 'pragmatic calendar'. The key actors in establishing the Parliament's position are: the Committee on Budgets and EP specialised committees, in particular the BUDG chair, the annual budget rapporteurs and their shadows, BUDG coordinators and budget rapporteurs in specialised committees. An amendment to the Council's position is a tool enabling Members of the European Parliament to modify the annual budget draft. This briefing sketches the life cycle of such an amendment. The European Parliament and the Council work out an agreement on the annual budget through negotiations consisting of trilogue meetings and conciliation. Last but not least, this briefing explains what happens if there is no agreement on the EU annual budget.