Brussels – Actual spending, or “payments” in EU jargon, was set at €908.4 billion ($1.2 trillion), with an absolute ceiling of €960 billion for spending “commitments” ― the maximum amount that can be allocated to programs. The commitment figure is just 1 percent of the bloc’s gross domestic product.
Leaders agreed on cuts to the EU’s farm program, the Common Agricultural Policy, but did not cut further than figures that EU President Herman Van Rompuy submitted to a failed summit in November. The CAP will receive €373.2 billion, compared with €420.7 billion in the 2007-2013 budget.
About three quarters of the CAP (€277.9 billion) helps farmers and productivity, and stabilizes markets, while the rest (\84.9 billion) is allocated to rural development, fisheries and the environment.
The Cohesion Funds, designed to help poorer states catch up with their peers, were allocated €325 billion, an extra €4.5 billion from proposals laid out last year.
To offset cuts to social programs, Van Rompuy proposed a new fund to address youth employment, with a budget of €6 billion to be shared between states in greatest need of getting young people into jobs.
The key growth sectors of transport, energy and telecommunications had €10 billion shaved off their budgets for the next seven years, leaving them with €29 billion.
EU civil servants will have to tighten their belts in the coming years, with €1.5 billion less at their disposal than the European Commission had asked for. The funds available for salaries, pensions and administrative costs total €61.6 billion.
Some €1 billion was severed from the 27-member bloc’s security and justice budget ― which includes consumer protection, health, asylum and immigration, leaving it with an envelope of €15.7 billion to last until 2020.