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EU budget increase to pay bills for work already done
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Published on 25-04-12 

The European Commission's draft EU budget for 2013 provides for GBP 113 (Euro 137.9) bn of payments, an increase of 6.8% compared to last year.  The bulk of this money will go to pay bills coming in from the Member States themselves for EU-funded projects agreed in advance by those same Member States and now nearing completion. Those projects cover areas such as improving transport and broadband infrastructure, high - level research projects to improve medical treatment, developing green technologies and schemes to provide training for unemployed people. 
 
At the same time the Commission proposes an effective freeze on new spending and a reduction of expenditure in lower priority areas in order to concentrate harder on growth and jobs.

    EU budget increase to pay bills for work already done

    The draft proposal keeps the overall payments for 2013 below the ceiling agreed by Member States. This means that the overall size of the EU budget remains within the 1% of the EU combined annual output and at about 2% of overall public expenditure in the EU. In other words, for every two pounds spent by "Brussels" 98 pounds is spent by national and regional governments. 
     
    It is legitimate for people to wonder why we call for a 6,8 % increase in payments in these times of crisis, says Janusz Lewandowski. There are two reasons for this: first, 2013 is the last year of the current financial period and the last year of each financial period always sees a sharp increase in payments as EU funded projects across Europe reach completion: bridges, railways, motorways have been built for the greater good of all, now we must pay the bills for them. Second, in recent years the Member States within the Council and the European Parliament have adopted EU budgets that were well below our estimated needs for payments. This has led to a "snowballing effect" of unpaid bills as each year we could not honour some of our legal commitments due to shortages of funds. When your electricity or water bill arrives, you must pay it even if you seek savings…
     
    The draft budget for 2013 also freezes the Commission's administrative budget at well below inflation level, while cutting its staff by 1%, the first step towards the goal of a 5% reduction of staff in 5 years.

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    Last update: 09/05/2012  |Top