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Monday, 04 October 2010

2011 budget: MEPs defend innovation and external actions

After three days of negotiations and voting, Parliament's Budgets Committee on Thursday finalised the bulk of its position on next year's budget. Its key changes increased funding for research, innovation, student mobility, energy and support for the Middle East peace process. This was the first budget exercise under the Lisbon Treaty, which gives Parliament a full say on the whole budget, including farm spending. Committee members agreed to stick to the limits laid down in the multi-annual financial framework, which applies until the end of 2013. The committee's position reflects priorities such as research, innovation, student mobility, energy and support to Palestine. Unlike the Council of Ministers, the committee chose to create headroom for additional spending that might become necessary but is still uncertain. This approach should make the budget more realistic and transparent from the start and should avoid remedial patchwork after the whole budget has been decided. In general, MEPs sought to restore the draft budget proposed by the Commission, after cuts by the Council in August. Exceptionally, the Budgets Committee voted to increase the budget above the Commission's draft version. The committee position will thus be slightly above the draft budget, which is more restrictive than in previous years.

Source: European Parliament