The Commission presented two amendments to the 2015 EU budget on 15 April.
The Commission proposed to amend the 2015 budget to grant aid worth EUR 66.5 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund to Bulgaria, Italy and Romania following three natural disasters in 2014. The aid — EUR 1.98 million to Bulgaria, EUR 56 million to Italy and nearly EUR 8.5 million to Romania — aims to partially cover the emergency costs of recovery operations following floods. It will particularly help restore vital infrastructure and services, reimburse the cost of emergency and rescue operations, and cover some of the clean-up costs in the disaster-stricken regions.
The second proposal covers extra revenue, which came mainly from competition fines and higher amounts of customs duties collected on imports from outside the EU which were cashed in towards the end of 2014. Positive balances of the EU annual budgets regularly occur as it is impossible to foresee and therefore allocate the additional revenue in advance.
The extra money at the end of the year will thus be returned to Member States which will see their contributions to the 2015 budget reduced accordingly. The 2013 and 2012 surpluses amounted to EUR 1 billion, whereas the 2011 surplus was EUR 1.5 billion.
The European Commission cannot change the annual EU budget adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. Instead, it may present one or several draft amending budget(s) for their approval.
Following the submission of Draft Amending Budgets No 3 (relating to the positive balance from 2014) and No 4 (on the mobilisation of the European Solidarity Fund to provide EUR 66.5 Million to Bulgaria, Italy and Romania) for the year 2015 approval is needed by the European Parliament and the Council.
A draft amending budget (DAB) is a proposal to amend the adopted budget. By definition, any budget (be it of the EU, a Member State, a private company or a household) bases itself on forecasts and estimates of expenditures and revenues. Therefore, budgets are frequently amended in light of actual expenditures and revenues. Some amending budgets, such as the one relating to the positive balance from the previous year, are presented regularly each year.
The number of DABs presented by the Commission varies from one year to another; presenting up to eight or ten draft amending budgets is not unusual.
Draft Amending Budget No 3 of the European Union for the financial year 2015: Documents
Draft Amending Budget No 4 of the European Union for the financial year 2015: Documents