Council wants the 2018 EU budget to focus on growth, jobs, security and handling migration
The Council is clear that the 2018 EU budget should be mainly about growth, jobs, security and handling migration, but it also wants to keep enough financial leeway to respond to unforeseen needs. The details are set out in the Council's position which it adopted on 4 September 2017.
The Council wants more than €122.5 billion (almost 85% of total payments) to be used to help stimulate growth and create jobs. Other important priorities are ensuring the security of European citizens and handling the migration crisis.
In total, the Council foresees €158.9 billion in commitments and €144.4 billion in payments. This is an increase of 0.6% and 7.4% respectively compared to the 2017 EU budget. The significant increase in payments reflects the fact that the 2014-2020 programmes will be at an advanced stage of implementation.
The Council also approved two proposals to draw on the 2017 EU budget to provide assistance to young unemployed persons as well as to the Italian regions affected by a series of earthquakes in 2016.
"The Council views its next year's budget position as providing adequate means in support of executing the Union's policy priorities, as well as considerably solidifying the EU's fiscal position by increasing flexibility buffers in the budget"Märt Kivine, the Estonian Deputy Finance Minister and Chief Negotiator for the 2018 budget
The Council's decisions confirm the outcome of the meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee on 12 July. For details, see press release.
If the European Parliament adopts amendments to the Council's position by 26 October, a three-week conciliation period will begin on 31 October 2017. The aim of conciliation is to reach a joint position of both institutions on next year's budget by 20 November 2017.