The EU's revenue comes from its "own resources"", i.e. customs duties charged on non‑agricultural imports from non‑member countries and import duties charged on agricultural products imported from non‑member countries, and from Member States' VAT‑based contributions and Member States' contributions based on EU gross national income.
Budget implementation has to observe budgetary discipline (expenditure cannot exceed appropriations) and the principle of sound financial management (budgetary resources must be used economically and efficiently).
The draft budget as approved by the Council amounts to:
- EUR 133 932 757 913 in commitment appropriations;
- EUR 114 972 328 243 in payment appropriations.
In the 2009 budget, the lion's share of expenditure is earmarked for growth and employment. The budget also involves a significant increase in environmental investment.
The process of negotiation with the European Parliament has now begun, with a conciliation meeting with a European Parliament delegation, before the Council's first reading and submission to the European Parliament of a draft budget.
The budget will undergo a first reading by the European Parliament, which may put forward amendments. After a further conciliation meeting with the European Parliament, the Council will take a decision on the proposals at a second reading, in November 2008. The budgetary procedure is formally completed with the signing of the budget by the President of the European Parliament.
For further information:
Council press release (FR) (pdf)
Preparations for the WTO negotiations
EU trade ministers met in Brussels on 18 July to prepare for the upcoming talks in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In the week of 21 July, ministers from over 30 major trading powers will come together at WTO headquarters in Geneva to seek agreement on modalities for trade in agriculture and industrial products - two key issues of the so-called Doha Development Agenda (DDA). The stated aim of WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy is to conclude the negotiations on these areas by the end of the year.
EU ministers held a first exchange of views on the latest negotiating texts circulated by the WTO.
These documents outline proposals for reductions in import duties, tariffs and agricultural subsidies and a further opening of markets by both developed and developing countries. The Council will continue its work in Geneva, giving further guidance to the Commission, which it has mandated to negotiate for the EU.
The DDA was launched at the WTO's fourth ministerial conference in November 2001 in Doha (Qatar) with the aim of bringing down barriers to global trade and integrating developing countries, especially the poorest countries, better into world markets. The Agenda provided a framework for further negotiations on a broad range of issues, such as market access for agricultural and non-agricultural goods, as well as services, trade facilitation and the environment, with a special focus on the needs and interests of developing countries, which constitute the majority of the current 152 members of the WTO.
For further information:
Council presse release(FR) (pdf)
General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting on 22 and 23 July 2008
Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 24 and 25 July 2008