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Some EUR 629 million more says the European Parliament with its budget proposal voted during its last plenary session on 23 October. The European Parliament reversed the Council’s budget proposition in research and employment expenditure for the upcoming year 2014. Whereas the Council’s proposal amounted to EUR 141.8 billion in commitments and EUR 134.8 in payments, the European Parliament’s vote would like to see these amounts increased to EUR 142.6 billion in commitments and EUR 136.1 billion in payments. The European Parliament’s vote on the budget proposal includes research and job expenditure, as well as funding on international policy, notably humanitarian aid and external border control.
Following the European Parliament’s reversal, a Conciliation Committee will be installed. According to the budgetary procedure the Committee will be composed of an equal number of Council and Parliament representatives who have to agree on a joint text within a timeframe of 21 days. If a joint text is reached, the Council and the Parliament have to adopt the text officially within the subsequent 14 days.
The plenary vote which led to the reversal of the Council's position was backed by 480 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in favour of the budget amendments, 119 against and 86 abstentions. According to the European Parliament, the cuts in the EU budget should not affect vital areas for the European Union’s economic recovery such as research, the digital agenda, and employment measures. Given the ‘small’ discrepancy between the Council’s and the Parliament’s proposal, the Conciliation Committee is likely to be successful in finding a compromise and in adopting a joint text. A final vote is expected for the next plenary session in November.
European Parliament press release