On 19 November, members of the European Parliament gathered in Strasbourg in plenary finally adopted the global EU budget (the Multiannual Financial framework, MFF) 2014-2020 and the programmes and policies that will be implemented in its framework. The total budget for 2014-2020 is set at €960bn in commitments and €908 in payments (2011 prices). For the first time in EU history, the budget proposed represents a decrease (in percentage of the EU GNI) compared to the previous budgetary period. The final regulations and useful figures, including a comparison with 2007-2013 per headings, can be found on the EC website.
The European Parliament managed to negotiate some relevant conditions (a mid-term review of the budget framework, the setting up of a high-level working group on ways to modernize the EU’s “own resources” income*, more flexibility to move unpaid funds between years and categories of expenditures and the payment of shortfalls for the 2013 budget) but was not able to influence the total amount of the global budget decided by the EU Heads of State or government in February 2013.
The final EP votes, followed by the official approval by the Council on 5 December, mark the end of the negotiations for the next generation of programmes and policies for the period 2014-2020 that started 3 years ago.