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Agreement on EU budget for 2020: Tackling climate change and delivering on other EU priorities


Next year’s budget will also prepare the transition to the next budgetary cycle as it will be the seventh and last one under the current 2014-2020 long-term budgetary cycle.

Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, said: “The 2020 EU budget is about continuity – it is the last one under the current long-term budget and the last one that the Juncker Commission proposed and negotiated. It will channel resources to where the needs are. It will help create jobs, address climate change, and leverage investments all over Europe. It will invest in young people and in making Europe more secure. All of these priorities are also reflected in the Commission’s proposal for the long-term EU budget beyond 2020. We should now focus on a timely adoption of the next long-term budget so that we can provide certainty and stability for our beneficiaries and continue creating an EU added value for all.”

The 2020 EU budget is set at €168.69 billion in commitments (money that can be agreed in contracts in a given year) and €153.57 billion in payment credits (money that will be paid out). Some key features include:

  • 21% of the overall budget will go to measures to address climate change. For example, the LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Change will receive €589.6 million (+5.6% compared to 2019). Horizon 2020, which traditionally makes a substantial contribution to reaching climate targets, will get €13.49* billion (+8.8% compared to 2019). The Connecting Europe Facility’s Energy strand – which invests in the large-scale deployment of renewable sources, in upgrading existing energy transmission infrastructure and developing new infrastructure – will receive €1.28 billion (+35% compared to 2019). The Connecting Europe Facility’s Transport strand will be supported with €2.58 billion.
  • Close to half of the funds – €83.93 billion in commitments (+4.1% compared to 2019) – will help making our economy more competitive. Of them, €58.65 billion (+2.5% compared to 2019) will go to narrowing economic gaps in and between Member States, boosting growth, job creation and fostering convergence via the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds).
  • The European global satellite navigation system Galileo will be supported with €1.2 billion (+74.7% compared to 2019) to expand its worldwide market uptake to reach 1.2 billion users by the end of 2020.
  • €255 million will provide incentives for European companies to work together to develop defence products and technology under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme.
  • Young people will benefit through a number of programmes: €2.89 billion will go to education through Erasmus+ (+3.6% compared to 2019). The European Solidarity Corps will create opportunities to volunteer or work in projects at home or abroad with €166.1 million (+15.9% compared to 2019).
  • European farmers will benefit from €58.12 billion.
  • Security and migration management will continue to receive support. For example, €2.36 billion will go to the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Internal Security Fund, and the agencies that work in this field (Europol, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), EASO, eu-LISA).

EU budget 2020 (in million euro):


(nominal change in % compared to 2019)

  Commitments Payments
1. Smart and inclusive growth:  83,931 (+4.1%)  72,351 (+7.1%)
Competitiveness for growth and jobs  25,285 (+7.9%)  22,308 (+8.7%)
Economic, social and territorial cohesion  58,646 (+2.5%)  50,046 (+6.4%)
2. Sustainable Growth: natural resources  59,907 (+0.4%)  57,904 (+0.9%)
Market related expenditure and direct aids  43,410 (+0.5%)  43,380 (+0.6%)
3. Security and Citizenship  3,729 (-1.5%)  3,685 (+4.5%)
4. Global Europe  10,262 (-9.3%)  8,929 (-4.6%)
5. Administration  10,272 (+3.3%)  10,275 (+3.3%)
Other special Instruments  588 (-32.5%)  419 (-40.6%)
Total appropriations  168,689 (+1.5%)  153,566 (+3.4%)


The agreement is based on the premise that the United Kingdom, following its withdrawal from the European Union by 31 January 2020 at the latest, will continue to contribute to and participate in the implementation of the EU budget until the end of 2020 as if it were a Member State.


The European Commission tables a draft EU budget for the following year usually in late spring every year. This year, the Commission presented its initial proposal on 5 June 2019.

On this basis, the European Parliament and the Council each take a position. This year, the Council formally adopted its position on 3 September 2019, while the European Parliament voted its position in plenary on 23 October 2019.

Differences between the positions of the European Parliament and the Council are addressed in a negotiation process called the ‘conciliation procedure’. This year, the 21-day conciliation period ran from 29 October until 18 November 2019.

The negotiations are conducted by a specially convened Conciliation Committee, to which the European Parliament and the Council each send 28 representatives. On the European Parliament side, the negotiations were led by Mr Johan Van Overtveldt, Chair of the Committee on Budgets, Ms Monika Hohlmeier and Ms Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, rapporteurs for the 2020 budget. On the Council side, the chief negotiator was Kimmo Tiilikainen, State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance of Finland, the country that currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council. The European Commission plays the important role of an honest broker and was represented by the Commissioner in charge of the Budget, Günther H Oettinger, with the support of experts from the Directorate-General for Budget.

This year, the negotiations for the 2020 budget were taking place in the parallel to the negotiations of the EU’s next long-term budget for the period 2021-2027. These started after a Commission put forward, on 2 May 2018, a proposal for a fair, balanced and modern budget to deliver on Europe’s priorities as set out by President Juncker in his State of the Union addresses and as agreed by EU Leaders in Bratislava in 2016 and in Rome in 2017. That long-term budget proposal was immediately followed by legislative proposals for the 37 sectoral programmes forming part of the future long-term budget, including the one on cohesion policy. Since then, the Commission has worked hand in hand with the rotating Presidencies of the Council, and in close collaboration with the European Parliament, to take the negotiations forward in view of a timely agreement. The Commission is convinced that a quick agreement is essential, for the hundreds of thousands of students, farmers and researchers across Europe, as well as everybody else who benefits from the EU budget.

Next steps

To seal the compromise reached today, the European Parliament and the Council both have to formally approve the text within 14-days.

Source: ec.europa.eu

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