“The budget agreed today is a concrete expression of solidarity both within the EU and with third countries”, said Pierre Gramegna, minister for finance of Luxembourg and President of the Council. “It provides the EU with the financial means to boost growth, create jobs and tackle the migration crisis. And it keeps sufficient financial leeway to allow the EU to react to unforeseen needs and events.”
In a special effort in response to the migration crisis the Council and the Parliament agreed on more than €2 billion in commitments to provide emergency assistance to the member states hardest hit and to non-EU countries hosting refugees, as well as for humanitarian aid. The budget deal also reflects the importance that the Council and the Parliament attach to promoting growth and creating jobs: commitments for the EU research framework programme Horizon 2020 will reach €9.54 billion, which is a €31.8 million increase compared to the draft budget proposed by the Commission.
The Council and the Parliament reaffirmed that reducing youth unemployment remains a high political priority and committed to making the best possible use of the youth employment initiative. The deal also includes a set of measures amounting in total to €698.0 million to support European farmers to respond to the extension of the Russian embargo on imports of certain agricultural products from the EU and to the difficult situation notably in the dairy and pigmeat sector. As regards the commitment made by the EU institutions in 2013 to reduce their staff by 5% over the period 2013-2017 the Parliament promised to achieve this target by 2019 while excluding temporary posts of political groups from the scope of the reduction obligation.