Today, the European Parliament approved the EU Budget for 2018, worth €160.1 billion. It will deliver more jobs, growth and security for European citizens, said MEP Siegfried Mureșan (EPP), the European Parliament’s chief negotiator.
“The EU Budget 2018 is a budget for the European citizens able to deliver what they expect from Europe. After long negotiations, we achieved our objectives and will deliver more jobs, especially for young people, more growth and security for European citizens”, MEP Siegfried Mureșan added.
“Compared to the Draft Budget proposed by the European Commission in May 2017, the approved EU Budget 2018 increases allocations for research, innovation and security as well as for programmes tackling youth unemployment.
Programmes contributing to job creation and economic growth will amount to €11.2 billion for the Research and Innovation Programme “Horizon 2020” (+€110 million), €2.3 billion for the “Erasmus+” University Mobility Programme (+€54 million), €59 billion for European farmers, €354 million for the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs “COSME” (+€15 million) and €350 million for the Youth Employment Initiative (+€116.7 million).
Allocations for safety and for tackling the migration crisis have increased by €10.5 million: €3.7 million and 10 new posts for Europol, €1.8 million and 5 new posts for Eurojust and €5 million for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).
We increased the funds for Cohesion Policy by 54% so that the EU should have enough money for payments to the Member States in 2018. But it is now crucial that Member States will accelerate the EU Funds absorption next year to invest it in infrastructure, growth and job creation. It is not enough to spend all the Cohesion Funds by the end of the 2014 – 2020 Multiannual financial framework (MFF), it is more important that the Member States manage to spend this money as soon as possible so that the citizens will benefit from these investments earlier in the MFF.
It is for the first time that the EU Budget treats fake news and Russian propaganda as serious threats and we will finance measures to tackle these threats accordingly. We decided to allocate €1.1 million on training EU staff to monitor fake news in Member States and EU Representations in former Soviet countries and in the Western Balkans. Besides that, the European Commission is to receive another €3 million for information outreach on external relations, while another €800,000 is allocated to the European External Action Service to cover strategic communication tools. Disinformation is a risk for the EU and we need to tackle this risk on a long term.
At the same time, we decided to cut pre-accession funds to Turkey by €105 million, and put an additional €70 million in reserve. We made it clear that EU support to third countries does not come without strings attached. In order to obtain financing, our external partners must fulfil a set of criteria, such as respect for fundamental rights, media freedom and freedom of speech. Unfortunately, Turkey is drifting away from these principles”, MEP Siegfried Mureșan said.
As a result of Siegfried Mureșan’s proposals, the EU Budget also includes financing, for the first time, the InterRail initiative with €12 million, which grants one-month free InterRail tickets to 18-year-old Europeans to discover Europe.
For more details:
Andrei Jujan: +40 766 369 485;
Paul Stencoane: +40 769 611 020.