The Council of the European Union (EU) gave its final approval to the budget for 2017 and the European Parliament (EP) is scheduled to vote it on December 1. The formal approval became possible after a deal of the two European institutions for an increase of 11% for expenditures on the re-settlement and integration of refugees, repatriation of illegal migrants and strengthening of border controls.
The EU budget for 2017 foresees a total of 157.858 billion EUR commitments and 134.490 billion EUR payments. Of them in support of growth will be allocated 74.899 billion EUR commitments and 56.522 billion EUR payments, which are in two main areas – competitiveness, growth and jobs and for economic, social and territorial cohesion.
Moreover, according to the EU budget 2017 for the support of European farmers will be allocated 42.6 billion EUR. Nearly 6.0 billion EUR will be allocated to reinforce the protection of our external borders and to address the migration and refugee crisis. Half of this amount will fund actions within the EU, the other half will be for actions outside the EU to address the root causes of migration. As a part of this, a total of 200 million EUR will be for the new instrument to provide humanitarian assistance within the EU.
The EU budget merely accounts for around 1% of the EU’s combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or approximately 2% of the public spending of the 28 EU Member States. Though relatively small in size, it has a big impact: for example, for the period 2007-2013, EU Cohesion funds boosted average GDP by 2.1% a year in Latvia, 1.8% in Lithuania and 1.7% in Poland. EU budget also helps invest in infrastructure, skills and other areas through regional funding; creates jobs through programmes like the Youth Employment Initiative; supports research and innovation thanks to Horizon 2020, or makes sure people get high-quality agricultural products on their table thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy.
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