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€160 billion budget for the European Union in 2018 approved

Last week, during a marathon meeting running into the early hours, the EU institutions reached an agreement on the 2018 EU budget for the European Union directing money to where the needs are. The biggest part of the EU budget will go to stimulate the creation of jobs, especially for young people, and to boost growth, strategic investments and convergence. The EU will also continue supporting the efforts to effectively deal with the migration challenge, both inside and outside of the EU. Nearly half of the funds - €77.5 billion in commitments – will go to making our economy stronger, our universities more competitive, our companies better equipped to compete on the global market place. This includes, €2 billion to the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Juncker Plan, €354 million will support small and medium-sized companies (Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, COSME programme) and €11.2 billion will go to Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation funding programme. A total of €55.5 billion will go to boosting growth, job creation and fostering convergence in all Member States and regions via the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds). Young people will get more support and better opportunities to find jobs thanks to €350 million for the Youth Employment Initiative, a key action which seeks to address the challenge of youth unemployment in our Member States. Support to European farmers in 2018 amounts to €59 billion.  Further to the launch of the European Defence Fund, €40 million are budgeted to fund collaborative research in innovative defence technologies and products. With €25 million already allocated in 2017, the total EU budget devoted to defence research until 2019 amount to €90 million.  Nearly €4.1 billion will be dedicated to managing migration and tackling security challenges. With the bulk of funding already frontloaded, the total for these policy areas will amount to €22 billion in the 2015-2018 period. This annual budget forms part of the overall 7 year Multi Annual Financing Framework agreed between all Member States for the period 2014-2020 into which the overall forecasts for 2017 were first confirmed.


                                      Overview of the EU budget 2018 (in million )


Budget 2018 
(nominal change in % compared to 2017)

commitments to pay out funds to specific initiatives

payments forecast for the period covered by the budget

1. Smart and inclusive growth:

77,534 (+2,8%)

66,624 (+34,9%)

Competitiveness for growth and jobs

22,001 (+3,2%)

20,097 (+4%)

Economic, social and territorial cohesion

55,532 (+2,7%)

46,527 (+54,7%)

2. Sustainable Growth: natural resources

59,285 (+1,2%)

56,084 (+3,6%)

Market related expenditure and direct aids

43,235 (+1,5%)

43,189 (+1,5%)

3. Security and Citizenship

3,493 (-18,5%)

2,981 (-7,6%)

4. Global Europe

9,569 (-8,3%)

8,906 (-1,7%)

5. Administration

9,666 (+2,9%)

9,666 (+2,9%)

Other special Instruments

0,567 (-67,6%)

0,42 (-73,5%)

Total appropriations

160,114 (+0,2%)

144,681 (+14,1%)

Issue 56