More funds for the Western Balkans in the EU 2020 Budget

European flags in front of EP Building in Strasbourg; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached agreement on an EU budget for 2020 on Monday, November 18. 

Total commitments are set at €168.7 billion. This is an increase of 1.5% compared to the 2019 budget as amended. Total payments amount to €153.6 billion, rising 3.4% from 2019, reported the Council.

The pre-accession funds for Turkey have been significantly reduced (by €85 million)  compared to the draft budget proposed by the Commission, while more funds have been provided for the Western Balkans.

“Next year’s budget ensures a realistic approach, taking into account the interests of taxpayers and the need to cater to new challenges that may arise in 2020”, said the State Secretary Kimmo Tiilikainen represented the Council in the negotiations with the European Parliament on Monday.

Climate change mitigation, job creation, strengthening security and addressing the challenges of migration are the priority areas the budget focuses on are.

In comparison to previous years, this time more funds are reserved to support measures against climate change. The EU has set itself the goal of dedicating at least 20% of EU expenditure to climate protection in the period 2014-2020.

The agreed figures are based on the premise that the UK will continue to participate fully in the financing and implementation of the EU budget for 2020.

The Parliament and the Council now have 14 days to formally approve the agreement reached. The Council is expected to endorse it on 25 November. The vote in the European Parliament is scheduled for 27 November.