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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

EU Economy - Economic and Financial Affairs Council - Budget guidelines for 2019 ..


1. The Council considers that the budget for 2019 should ensure prudent budgeting and provide adequate resources to support clearly set priorities, while leaving sufficient margins under the ceilings. The EU budget should seek to boost growth, promote employment and create new jobs, enhance effective EU cohesion and agriculture, foster competitiveness and tackle the internal and external dimension of the migration, security challenges and protection of the external borders. 

Prioritisation of objectives should be fostered, along with the allocation of sufficient resources to programmes and actions that contribute the most towards achieving these aims. In addition, the budget should allow commitments already made under the current and previous programming periods to be honoured in due time in order to avoid any unpaid claims. Sufficient commitment margins under the ceilings are essential in order to be able to deal with unforeseen circumstances. 

2. The Council considers that budgetary discipline must be maintained at all levels and that the MFF, the Mid-term Review of the MFF (MTR) and past commitments must be respected. 

3. The Council recalls the need for solidarity and underlines that transparent and effective use of the EU budget will bolster the credibility of the Union with the European citizens. 

4. The Council emphasizes the need for predictability of both Member States' contributions to the Union's budget and transfers from the EU budget to Member States. 

5. The Council takes note of the "Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom's orderly withdrawal from the European Union" of 8 December 2017 and in particular its chapter on financial settlement. 

6. The Council urges the Commission to present the draft estimates for the 2019 budget as early as possible, and preferably by the beginning of May, in order to avoid unnecessary overlapping with other budget-related processes which will take place in 2018. 

7. The Council invites the Commission to prepare a budget in line with the aforementioned objectives, including a focus on areas that deliver EU added value.

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