The European Council has adopted its position on the 2020 EU budget, which is set to focus on strengthening the EU’s economy and addressing climate change.
The Council has set priorities for the 2020 EU budget including shoring up the competitiveness of the bloc as a whole; guaranteeing effective funding levels to support migration and border control; strengthening Member States’ capacity for civil protection; and meeting the needs of strategic external action. Member States have emphasised the importance of ‘budgetary prudence’, with the goal of allowing sufficient flexibility within the budget to meet unexpected emergency needs.
The EU 2020 budget will distribute increased funding to established research and innovation endeavours including Horizon 2020, the Connecting Europe Facility – with particular focus on the energy strand of the facility – and the Erasmus+ student exchange programme. Further support will be extended to programmes aiming to increase Member States’ market competitiveness, economic growth and jobs creation; and the budget includes specific provision for the European Border and Coast Guard, to enable the establishment of a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027.
The Council also approved a range of amendments to the 2019 budget, including emergency financial assistance worth €293.6m to be allocated from the EU Solidarity Fund to Austria, Italy and Romania in the wake of heavy rain, winds and flooding which hit the three countries in 2018.
Kimmo Tiilikainen, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance in Finland and the Council’s chief negotiator for the 2020 EU budget, said: “Next year’s budget is about continuity. Member States want to focus on the key policy areas and best performing programmes where there is clear European added value, whilst also ensuring a prudent approach. I am glad that the Council’s position was adopted with the overwhelming support of the member states. This provides a strong basis for our discussions with the parliament in the coming months.”
Secretary Tiilikainen will present the Council’s budget position to the plenary session of the European Parliament later this month.