EU draft budget for 2011 centered on economic recovery

08:33, April 28, 2010      

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The European Commission on Tuesday tabled a draft budget for the European Union (EU) in 2011, putting economic recovery at the focus of its spending.

Under the draft budget, the EU would spend 142.6 billion euros (189.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2011, an increase of 2.2 percent over this year. Among the total, some 64.4 billion euros (85.6 billion U.S. dollars) are geared towards economic recovery actions, with a rise of 3.4 percent annually.

"The ambition of the draft budget is to continue to promote economic recovery together with the EU member states, in particular in favor of the most vulnerable, in the current post crisis, while reflecting at budgetary level the new EU comprehensive approach for job creation and growth," said EU Commissioner for financial programming and budget Janusz Lewandowski.

"The draft budget adopted today gives Europe and its citizens incentives to develop an economy for the future: research and innovation, sustainability and inclusion are its cornerstones. This draft budget focuses on helping our youth be better equipped for their future, on enticing small and medium enterprises to make full use of EU funds to bounce back from the crisis," he added.

To be specific, the EU would spend 42.5 billion euros (56.5 billion U.S. dollars) on improving infrastructure and communications across the bloc in 2011, through the so-called structural and cohesion funds, while funding for market related expenditure and direct aids under the Common Agricultural Policy ( CAP) as well as for rural development would remain stable.

The draft 2011 budget also increased investments in research, development and innovation, infrastructure and human capital. Funds on research and technical development would grow by 13.8 percent, reaching 8.6 billion euros (11.4 billion U.S. dollars).

The commission was also concerned about rising unemployment of young people. To that end, the funding of education for young people would increase by 2.6 percent to reach 1.1 billion euros next year (1.5 billion U.S. dollars).

Administrative expenditure for all EU institutions would remain at 8.3 billion euros (11 billion U.S. dollars) or 5.8 percent of the budget.

The 2011 EU budget is the first one under the reforming Lisbon Treaty, which for the first time gives equal power to the European Parliament and EU governments in adopting the budget. The treaty also simplified the approval procedure.



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