All across Europe, families are prioritising where to spend their money. Some luxuries are being cut, as people invest in what really matters for the future.
The European Union is doing exactly the same. The Commission's budget proposal invests today in growth for tomorrow. Taxpayers will get more for the same amount of money they spend. It will make it a truly European budget. A budget for integration.
Boosting growth across the European Union
A large part of the budget will be aimed at getting people into work and the economy growing. A new Connecting Europe Facility will finance the missing links in energy, transport and information technology.
There will be significant new money for education and vocational training, and for research and innovation to create the jobs and ideas of tomorrow. And money for less developed regions will go to jobs and growth, which will also benefit the whole of Europe.
Making Europe safer
Many of today's challenges ignore national borders. And it is much cheaper for Europe to respond with a co-ordinated policy rather than 27 separate ones.
Safe and healthy food will be at the heart of the changes to Europe's agriculture funding. 30% of direct payments to farmers will depend on farmers making the sector environmentally friendly.
Every euro spent will be a multi-purpose euro - helping to protect the environment, boost energy-efficiency and the fight against climate change, strengthen cohesion and promote social targets at the same time. EU funds can have a major leverage effect in many areas.
The new budget will also strengthen the management of Europe's external borders and put fresh money into tackling serious crime, terrorism and cybercrime.
Making Europe count in the world
The advance of technology is making the world a smaller place. Shifting alliances and emerging new powers mean that Europe must do more to make its voice count.
The money invested in defending Europe's interests will be increased. Recent events in the Southern Mediterranean have once again shown the impact on Europe of dramatic events in its neighbourhood. Incentives will be provided for those countries that deliver political and economic reforms that strengthen democracy in the region.
Europe, which provides over half of development assistance worldwide, is determined to deliver on its commitment of spending 0.7% of GNI by 2015. The new budget maintains that pledge.
Getting a fairer and more transparent budget
Taxpayers need to be able to see how their money is being spent. The new budget should be simpler, more transparent and fairer. We propose that changes are made to the way the budget is financed, with new revenue streams being created to partially replace contributions based on the gross national income of each Member State. We believe that this will give families and governments a better deal.