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Legal foundation

The EU budget is regulated by 3 types of legal acts:

The agreements are unique to the budget – they have no equivalent in other areas of EU law.

EU Budget as defined in the EU treaties


The EU budget system is defined in:

EU Budget as defined in EU legislation

The principles set out in the treaties are implemented in practice by the following legislation:

EU Budget as defined in the interinstitutional agreement

The purpose of the interinstitutional agreement is threefold:

  • to implement budgetary discipline;
  • to improve the functioning of the annual budgetary procedure and the cooperation between the institutions on budgetary matters
  • to ensure sound financial management.

A number of agreements or joint declarations have been concluded since the mid-1970s. They were incorporated, with certain updates or additions, into the Interinstitutional Agreement concluded in 1999, which in some ways constitutes a ‘Charter’ of agreements reached by the institutions on the budget.

The 1999 Interinstitutional Agreement has been replaced by a new one signed on 17 May 2006 which entered into force on 1 January 2007. The Annex of this agreement establishes the Financial Framework for the period of 2007-2013. Before 1 July 2011, the Commission will present proposals for a new medium-term financial framework (Point 30, IIA).

The Multifinancial Framework is now specifically mentioned in Article 312 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.  

Interinstitutional Agreement in detail

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  • updated February 6, 2012
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