On Wednesday, 23 May, European Commission initiated approval of European Union’s 2019 budget project for EUR 166 billion, making EU’s next year budget 3% larger.
EUR 80 billion will be allocated to support European Union’s economic growth next year, as reported by EC office in Latvia.
EC explains that this is the sixth budget compiled in accordance with EU long-term budget for 2014-2020. It functions within this budget framework’s borders. It was developed to ‘use available funding in an optimal way’ for existing programmes and new initiatives to increase Europe’s added value in accordance with EC priorities.
Finances for support of economic growth in 2019 will reach nearly EUR 80 billion. This funding will includes an increase for multiple programmes, including EUR 12.5 billion for research and development programme Horizon 2020, and EUR 194 million for a new European high performance databases joint venture.
It is also offered to divert EUR 2.6 billion for Erasmus+ programme, which is 10.4% more than what was provided to the programme in 2018. Other plans include plans to divert EUR 3.8 billion for European Infrastructure Interconnectivity Tool, which is 36.4% more than the funding available to infrastructure networks this year.
In accordance with EC initiative, an additional amount of EUR 233.3 million will be allocated for Youth Employment Initiative to support youngsters who live in regions with a high level of youth unemployment. Coordinated funding will be provided from the European Social Fund. EC expects cohesion policy in 2019, with funding of EUR 57 billion to maintain a steady rate. Agriculture policy’s funding is expected to remain stable at EUR 60 billion.
In spite of limitations of the 2014-2020 EU long-term budget, EC uses the budget’s available flexibility to ensure sufficient attention is provided to migration and border management matters this year, as confirmed in EC report. It is planned to reform the entire asylum system to ensure a more effective and humane policy, as well as a stricter arrival/departure system for EU border management.
It is also planned to allocate EUR 1.5 billion for the refugee support mechanism in Turkey to continue supplying food, education and housing to people fleeing the war in Syria and elsewhere in the world. EUR 500 million will be allocated in accordance with existing 2018 budget. Because of this, EC also proposes amending the existing budget. Two more initiatives are planned next year – the framework for partnership with third countries as part of Europe’s programme in migration and European Fund for Sustainable Development to help resolve the main reasons of the migration crisis.
EUR 40 million will be allocated to expand Structural Reform Support programme. EUR 245 million are to be allocated for the formation of the European Defence Industry Development programme. EUR 150 million will be allocated to improve reaction capabilities for earthquakes, forest fires and other catastrophes in Europe, using civil defence reserve on a European level. EUR 5 million will be allocated for the new European Prosecutor’s Office to combat cross-border crime. Additional measures will be undertaken to protect residents and businesses from cyber threats.