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Agreement between Member States: Breakthrough in the EU budget dispute: More money for climate protection


TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates

Brussels (dpa) - From the EU's EU budget in the coming year significantly more money will flow into climate protection.

According to the EU Commission, an agreement reached between the governments of the Member States and the European Parliament late on Monday evening envisages earmarking around 21 percent of the total budget for measures related to this important topic. The Environmental and Climate Policy Program (LIFE) will receive 589.6 million euros, 5.6 percent more than in 2019. This will be supplemented by 13.46 billion euros for the Horizon 2020 research program (plus 8.8 percent) and billions more for energy projects.

"The EU Budget 2020 will be the greenest budget in the history of the European Union," said Green MEP Rasmus Andresen. The parliament has negotiated more than 500 million euros for climate protection, said the CSU MEP and parliamentary rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier.

Overall, the EU budget for 2020 will allow disbursements of around € 153.6 billion (+ 3.4 per cent) after the agreement. More money should also be available, for example, for the fight against youth unemployment, the Erasmus exchange program and the Galileo satellite navigation system.

The funds to support the candidate country Turkey, however, be reduced by about 85 million euros compared to the original plans, as the CSU MEP Hohlmeier said the German Press Agency. Given the situation in areas such as the rule of law and the freedom of the press, all that is left is money for civil society, Erasmus and the provision of Syrian refugees.

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger commented that the new EU budget will pool resources where they are needed. "It will help create jobs, tackle climate change and boost investment across Europe," he said Monday night.

For Germany, the negotiations were of particular importance, since the Federal Government, the largest net contributor to the Union, contributes more than one fifth of the EU budget. Much of the money goes to payments to farmers and relatively poor regions in EU countries.

The German delegation said in the evening: "We have found a good compromise that strengthens Europe and secures the European Union's ability to act." Council and Parliament could have worked together to increase the EU's financial resources for current priorities such as climate change, economic growth, migration and security. Another important achievement is that the budget contains a buffer for risk prevention so that it can respond quickly to unforeseeable challenges.

However, some MEPs were less enthusiastic about the agreement. "The EU Member States have blocked Parliament's constructive proposals - whether it was the reuse of unused funds from previous years in research policy for new European projects or the exhaustion of margins that would otherwise expire," criticized the chairman of the SPD. MEP, Jens Geier. The negotiators of the Parliament had accepted the compromise now presented only to avert a crisis.

The Green politician Andresen was also disappointed that it was not possible to budget for a European maritime rescue program. "The sea rescue in the Mediterranean defends European values, the rejection of its own budget line is a slap in the face of the people who risk their lives," he commented.

Even more difficult than the talks on the EU budget 2020 are likely to be the final negotiations on the EU financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027. This forms the basis for individual households and is therefore particularly relevant. So far, the governments of EU countries do not even have a common position for negotiations with Parliament.

Net contributors such as Germany, for example, want to stick to the limitation of the European Community budget to 1.0 percent of EU economic output. After the EU's exit from the United Kingdom, the financial burden on the so-called net contributors will increase significantly, it is said. According to estimates, adhering to the 1.0 percent rate for Germany could mean an additional annual burden of around ten billion euros. For comparison: Last year, Germany contributed around 25 billion euros to the EU budget.

EU Commission on budget negotiations

EU Council on budget negotiations

EU Parliament to the budget

Source: zeit

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