The European Commission (EC) today presented a new draft EU budget for 2019 after the countries of the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament (EP) failed to reach an agreement within the deadline, which ended at midnight on November 19th.
In this new plan, the commitments (the maximum amount of future payments to which the EU can commit) amount to 165,000 million euros, while payments are placed at 148,000 million.
Community sources specified that the changes with respect to the initial proposal in May occurred in items such as the research program Horizon 2020, which now plans to allocate 12,300 million euros in commitments, 9% more than in 2018 and 100 million more than in the first draft of the Commission.
It is also higher than the Erasmus +, in which the commitments reach 2,700 million euros, 18% more than in 2018 and 200 million euros above the initial project for 2019.
In the case of the Youth Employment Initiative, used in the financing of the Youth Guarantee regimes, the Community Executive proposes 350 million euros, the same figure as in 2018, but 117 million higher than the initial plan for next year.
The sources added that they have also identified "some minor increases compared to the first budget draft that do not compromise the smooth implementation of affected programs."
Likewise, they pointed out that the new proposal incorporates all the elements in which the European Parliament and the Member States have agreed and, therefore, qualified it as "a good basis to continue negotiations".
"In general, the proposal aims to achieve a good balance that should open the door to reaching an agreement in the coming days," the sources said.
Meanwhile, the European Commissioner for Budget, Günther Oettinger, stressed in a statement that it is "in the interest of all Europeans that the EU institutions quickly reach a pact on the budget for 2019."
The European Parliament and the Council (representing the Member States) have equal decision-making powers with respect to the accounts and failed to reach an agreement after three weeks of negotiations to try to bring their positions closer, which was more ambitious than that of the Community executive in the case of the European Parliament and less in the case of the States.
If an agreement is not reached this year, by 2019 the provisional system called "twelfths" will be applied, which does not allow spending more than one twelfth of the appropriations of the previous year's budget each month.
While the UK will leave the EU on March 29, it will continue to contribute to the Community accounts until the end of the current multi-year financial framework, which concludes in 2020.