EU aims for stronger European economy with €166bn budget

25 May 18

The European Union €166bn budget for 2019 will “invest in a stronger and more resilient European economy”, it has announced.

Nearly €80bn will be allocated specifically to supporting economic growth in the region, including €12.5bn on research and innovation and €2.6bn on education under the Erasmus scheme.

The overall budget draft shows a 3% commitment increase, compared to 2018.

Commissioner Günther Oettinger, in charge of budget and human resources, said: “We are proposing an ambitious budget that continues to support our priorities, in particular on investment, jobs, youth, migration, solidarity and security, and that delivers European added value for our citizens.

“We need stability for the EU and I look forward to reaching an agreement with parliament and council as soon as possible."

Additionally, €1.5bn will go to refugees in Turkey, €3.8bn will be given to infrastructure networks and €233.3m will be allocated to young people in the regions where unemployment is high.

The budget also sets out €5m commitment to the creation of a new European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which will prosecute cross-border crime, including fraud, money-laundering and corruption. It will also take steps to protect against cyber attacks.

To support its member states implement structural reforms, the bloc has allocated €40m to extend its Structural Reform Support Programme.

The 2019 budget proposal is designed to optimise funding for existing programmes as well as new initiatives, as part of the current 2014-2020 long-term EU budget period.

It is based on the premise that the UK will continue to contribute and participate to the EU budget until 2020, despite leaving the bloc in March 2019.

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