The EU budget is published in 2 volumes in all official EU languages. See also EU budget online.
The budget consists of:
The vast majority – 95% of the EU budget – goes to fund concrete activities on the ground in the many areas of EU policy. This expenditure ("operational appropriations") is paid out by the Commission (Section III).
However, section III also includes a small amount of administrative expenditure necessary for the Commission to function.
All the other sections of the budget deal solely with the administrative expenditure of the institutions.
The Commission budget is broken down into into some 30 policy areas or by activity areas, in what is known as 'activity-based budgeting' (ABB). See e.g. the General Budget 2011.
The policy areas (research, employment, etc.) are closely related to the headings in the financial framework (sustainable growth, preservation and management of natural resources etc.).
The budget is divided into:
Thanks to this nomenclature system of one activity per chapter, the link between policies and the financial resources they require is clear, and the cost of each policy can be estimated from the budget.