24/07/2012 - General Affairs Council (GAC)
Council adopts its position on the 2013 EU budget
On 24 July the Council adopted its position on the draft EU budget for 2013. The ministers agreed that the increase in payments should not be higher than 2.79% compared to the 2012 budget.
In absolute figures, the Council position amounts to 132.70 billion euro in payments (i.e. actual amounts that could be paid out in 2013) and 149.78 billion euro in commitments (i.e. promises to spend money, which do not necessarily have to be paid out in 2013, but can be spread over several financial years).
It constitutes an increase of 3.61 billion euro in payments and 1.88 billion euro in commitments compared to the 2012 budget, but a decrease of 5.23 billion euro and 1.15 billion euro respectively if compared to the Commission's proposal for the 2013 budget.
The decision was made taking into account budget implementation results in the past and realistic absorption capacities as well the overall current situation of the member states' public finances.
The Council earmarked the largest increase – +6.71% in payments – for sustainable growth ("heading 1"). The largest slice under this heading has been allocated to the EU's cohesion policy (sub-heading 1b), representing an increase of 8.07%.
Another priority area funded from the EU budget, according to the Council's position, is the EU's policies in the area of freedom, security and justice, including activities relating to external borders and migration (an increase of 5% in payments).
The Council's position will serve as a mandate for the Cyprus presidency to negotiate next year's EU budget with the European Parliament, which is expected to adopt amendments to the Council's position in October this year.
Press release (pdf)
Press conference webcast (video)