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EU: Budget

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2010

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they opposed the 6 per cent increase in the European Union budget for 2010 when the amended draft budget was discussed in the Council of the European Union. [HL1078]

Through tough negotiation the Government secured an EU budget for 2010 that was below the level of the Commission's proposals and almost €5 billion (4 per cent) lower than that proposed by the European Parliament, saving the UK taxpayer almost half a billion pounds. The budget included reductions in spending that represents relatively poor value for money, such as administration, and appropriate allocations for areas of better value for money such as external aid.

A key driver for the size of the 2010 budget is the financing of the European economic recovery plan, as well as additional support for structural and cohesion funds for the new member states, many of whom have been hit hardest by the economic downturn. The overall budget increase is also partially driven by the expected acceleration in the delivery of those funds across the EU.