EU negotiators approve €1 billion bump for next year's budget

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By Euronews
European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn at the European Parliament, Feb. 16, 2022 in Strasbourg.
European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn at the European Parliament, Feb. 16, 2022 in Strasbourg.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias

European negotiators on Monday evening struck a deal for next year's EU budget that includes a €1 billion bump in planned payments.

The agreement between negotiators from the European Parliament, Commission and Council was reached in the late evening, shortly before the mandated deadline of midnight. 

It includes €186.6 billion in planned "commitments", €1 billion more than initially tabled by the European Commission.

A third of that money (€62.9 billion) is earmarked to support the ongoing recovery by boosting investments in economic, social and territorial cohesion -- meaning it will benefit regions and cities in the EU.

Another €54.7 billion is for the Common Agricultural Policy and the European Maritime, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Fund to "strengthen the resilience of the agri-food and fisheries sectors and to provide the necessary scope for crisis management".

More than €2.2 billion will go towards programmes and funds to support environmental and climate action while €1.5 billion will be set aside for defence and will go towards the Internal Security Fund, the European Defence Fund and the Common Procurement Act for weapons.

An additional €295.2 million has been designated to boost military mobility across the bloc

Meanwhile, over a quarter of the additional €1 billion will be used to boost support for the bloc's southern and eastern neighbourhood including new candidate countries Ukraine and Moldova, with a further €150 million added to the bloc's humanitarian aid budget.

Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn welcomed the deal as paving "in particular the way for Europe's support to Ukraine."

Jiří Georgiev, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic and chief Council negotiator for the 2023 EU budget said in a statement that the 2023 budget "will allow us to focus on the EU's priority areas in a particularly volatile geopolitical context."

"It also ensures a realistic approach, taking into account the current economic situation, the interests of taxpayers and the need to cater for new challenges that may arise in 2023," he added.

Belgian MEP Johan Van Overtveldt from the ECR group, who is Chair of the Committee on Budgets, said that "the additional expenditure provided for Ukraine, energy, migration and research answers to the challenges of the day" but warned that "it is clear that the limits of the current multiannual financial framework, the EU’s long-term budget, have been reached."

The deal now needs to be formally adopted by the Council and Parliament.