New EU Budget 2014-2020 contains a 40% increase in funding for Research and Innovation

The total reported EU Budget was agreed last week by the summit of heads of government and state at €960bn for commitments and €908bn for payments, plus a further €37bn for off-budget items such as disaster zones emergency relief. This proposed settlement now has to be agreed by the European Parliament.

One new budget item that was reduced late in the negotiations, called Connecting Europe, is down from a proposed €40bn, cut by €11bn to €29bn. This is to fund transnational high speed rail and broadband. However, other infrastructure budgets, including some rail and technology, have been reportedly increased.

The Financial Times, 9/10 February, has reported that the budget areas for research and innovation have increased by nearly 40%.

Regional development funds are also reported as increased by the BBC and Financial Times.

In terms of the wider politics, the member state that most closely achieved its stated position in the negotiations was Germany, holding the EU Budget to within 1% of the total Gross National Income of all EU members.

The UK remains a net contributor at €4.7bn/year at 2011 prices, after a rebate of €3.6bn/year, set to decrease over the period 2014-2020.

The EU Budget has two key types of expenditure: payments and commitments. The second has a higher ceiling and allows for spending commitments to be made above the payments budget (‘over-programming’) to allow for phased payments, continuity between budget periods, delays and withdrawals.

Interestingly, by some reports it is possible to compare the budgets for prior and future commitments and show that the EU budget would continue to grow over the next seven years, although this is not also true for payments.

(updated 12 February 2013)

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