Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list
November was marked by about negotiations between representatives of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on budgetary matters. Decisions were made on three relevant matters:
Following the European Parliament’s reversal of the Council’s budget proposition for 2014, a conciliation committee composed of representatives of both institutions was installed (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, October 2013). On 12 November the European Parliament and the Council stroke a deal on the EU budget for 2014. The negotiating parties reached a compromise in-between two slightly varying budget proposals and settled on a budget of EUR 135.5 billion in payments and EUR 142.6 billion in commitments. Commitments are the maximum amount to which the EU commits itself and these are only released in payments if all necessary conditions for commitments have been met. As these conditions are not fully met, the amount of payments is lower than the amount of commitments.
In addition, the conciliation committee agreed on the amount of remedying payments for the budget 2013. Earlier in December 2012, the Parliament and Council had agreed on the additional funds that were necessary in order to allow the European Union to fulfil its legal obligations, as the budget in payments for 2013 would be too low to pay incoming bills for contracts and commitments decided in 2010 and 2011.
The political deal for the MFF 2014-2020 was already reached nearly half a year ago (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, June 2013). However, the European Parliament’s budget committee only approved the MFF on 14 November 2013 which was adopted by the European Parliament by 537 votes to 126. The European Parliament deliberately retarded its approval of the MFF for the next budgetary cycle in order to bargain for certain conditions such as more flexibility on switching budget funds, the retention of unspent budget funds by the EU in contrast to the previously common reimbursement of national governments, as well as the already mentioned remedying payments for 2013. The MFF 2014-2020 amounts to EUR 908 billion in payments and EUR 960 billion in commitments. As a next step, the Council of the European Union will have to approve the MFF on 2 December 2013.