EU approves 3.2% budget increase to €115.5 bln in 2007
The European Union approved a 3.2% spending increase next year, the first annual EU budget for 27 member states. The €115.5 billion budget will cover the EU's current 25 nations plus Romania and Bulgaria, which are due to join on January 1.
The Strasbourg, France-based European Parliament endorsed the €3.6 billion spending increase today after the EU's national governments backed it. Next year's budget will be less than 1% of the EU’s GDP and reflects “a very prudent approach on payments,” said James Elles, a UK member of the Parliament's budget committee. Some programs are getting under way and will receive more money later.
The 2007 budget begins a new seven-year EU spending plan approved by national governments and the Parliament earlier this year. The 2007-2013 program marked a victory for the EU's main financiers including Germany and the UK, which demanded limits on their payments after eight ex-communist nations plus Cyprus and Malta joined the bloc in May 2004.
National governments finance 70% of the EU budget and the accord fixed total spending in 2007-2013 at €864 billion, or 1.05% of the region's GDP. At less than half of German federal spending, the EU budget goes mainly to agriculture and regional development. The 2007 budget earmarks €54.7 billion in farm spending and €37.8 billion in regional aid.
SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.