EU to boost spending on climate change, borders and satellites

The 2020 budget is last in EU’s current seven-year spending plan, with the next one facing tough scrutiny due to Brexit.

European Union flags flutter as people take part in the demonstration "One Europe for all", a rally against nationalism across the European Union, in Vienna, Austria, May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesne
The EU's 2020 budget also allocated a significant amount to reducing economic and social differences between European regions [File: Lisi Niesner/Reuters]

European Union governments, parliament and the executive commission reached a deal late on Monday on the bloc’s 2020 budget that boosts spending on fighting climate change, EU border protection and setting up Europe‘s own satellite system.

The 2020 budget is the last annual spending plan of the EU’s seven-year budget, which is equal to one percent of the 28-nation bloc’s gross national income.

Next year, the EU has committed to finance projects worth 168.7 billion euros ($186.8bn), of which 21 percent will go to measures to fight climate change.

The 2020 budget envisages some 60 billion euros ($66bn) to support farmers, fisheries and biodiversity, and almost 59 billion euros ($65bn) to reduce economic and social differences between European regions.

A further almost 25 billion euros ($27.7bn) will go to support research and innovation in the EU, youth education programmes, small and medium-sized companies and Europe’s Galileo satellite scheme that is to make the EU independent from the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS).

Another 14 billion euros ($15.5bn) will finance EU security, humanitarian aid and the newly created European border guard with an operational staff of 10,000 and equipment to manage the EU’s external borders.

The next seven-year budget will start from 2021 and last until the end of 2027. It is under tough negotiations now because it will no longer include the United Kingdom, a large net contributor, as London wants to leave the EU on Jan 31, 2020.

If there is no agreement by late next year on whether the funding gap left by the UK should be filled and by whom, the 2020 budget agreed on Monday will be replicated in 2021 until the longer-term spending plan is in place.

Source: Reuters