The EU's draft budget for 2013, presented 25 April by the Commission, reflects the European Council's statements that growth and employment in the EU can only be achieved by combining fiscal consolidation and investment into future growth.
The EU budget usefully complements national efforts in this regard by concentrating investment on the priority areas defined in the EU's growth strategy Europe 2020, while at the same time taking into account the difficult economic context and pressure on national budgets. The draft budget 2013 freezes future expenditure: the increase of commitments (i.e. tomorrow's payments) is at the level of inflation (2%). It also freezes the Commission's administrative budget at well below inflation level, while cutting its staff by 1%, the first step towards the goal of a 5% reduction of staff in 5 years.
At the same time, it proposes a 6.8% increase in the level of payments. This contributes directly to growth and jobs in Europe. The EU budget must meet its contractual obligations of current and previous years vis-à-vis the Member States and other recipients.
€62,5 billion in payments are devoted to job friendly growth in Europe. A particular effort has been made towards the Research framework Programmes (€9,0 billion, 28,1% increase on 2012), the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (€546,4 million, 47,8 % increase), structural and cohesion funds (€ 49 bn , 11,7 % increase), life long learning (€1,2 bn, 15,8 % increase).
Overall the draft budget for 2013 amounts to €150,9 billion in commitments, a 2% increase on last year, in line with the current inflation rate. Payments represent €137,9 billion which amounts to an increase of 6,8 %. They are the logical consequence of past commitments.
Note: The figures in the draft budget do not take into account the costs of Croatia joining the EU in July 2013 (access to EU funds)
Find more on the European Commission website.