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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Member states propose leaner budget for EU

A billion euros fewer than the European Commission wanted for the EU's poorest regions, €13 million less for schooling EU officials' children and a near freeze on recruitment in Brussels are among the 2011 EU budget proposals put forward by member states.
Coming in the midst of politically painful cutbacks by EU capitals at home, the EU budget blueprint, adopted by written procedure on Thursday (12 August), will still see spending go up by almost three percent to €126.6 billion next year. But the member states' plan envisages putting €3.6 billion fewer into the common pot than earlier requested by the commission, with reductions across the board. The biggest casualties are to come in the areas of cohesion funds for poor regions (minus €1.1 billion), cash for stimulating economic growth and employment (minus €841 million) and support for EU farmers (minus €820 million).  With the EU working to put Haiti back on its feet and mulling a new 10-year recovery plan for flood-struck Pakistan, a further €203 million is at the same time to be taken out of the bloc's emergency aid reserve. The EU institutions themselves are to take a €162 million hit. The lion's share (€73 million) is to come out of the commission's pocket. European schools, the Brussels-based academies which educate EU civil servants' children, are to lose €13 million. Pensions payments for retired EU officials are to lose €22 million.

Source: Euobserver