The Commission yesterday proposed an annual EU budget of €189.3 billion for 2024. The budget will be supplemented by an estimated €113 billion in grant payments under NextGenerationEU, the EU’s post-pandemic recovery instrument. Their combined capacity to intervene will continue to drive Europe’s ongoing economic recovery and create jobs, while strengthening Europe’s strategic autonomy.

The EU has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, including rapidly rising inflation, which have put significant pressure on the budget’s ability to further respond to new developments. However, the draft budget for 2024 still provides substantial funding for the EU’s political priorities as planned. Green and digital spending will continue to be a priority to make Europe more resilient and better prepared for the future.

“The EU budget continues to provide Europe with the means to meet current and future challenges. However, the EU budget, like national budgets, is facing constraints due to rising costs, while funding needs are not decreasing. The EU budget for 2024 has been adapted to continue to support the Union’s green and digital transition and remains one of the strongest tools to ensure added value to citizens’ lives,” said Mr Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration.

The draft budget for 2024 directs funds where they can make the biggest difference, based on the most critical recovery needs of EU Member States and our partners around the world. The funding will help modernize and strengthen our Union, promoting the green and digital transition, creating jobs and strengthening Europe’s role in the world.

The Commission will continue to stand by Ukraine as long as necessary. Following Russia’s aggressive war against the country, the EU budget has been fully mobilized to support Ukraine and EU member states hosting refugees, but its resources have been exhausted. The Commission will assess future support to Ukraine in the upcoming review of its long-term budget for 2021-2027.

To implement the other EU priorities, the Commission proposes to allocate the following amounts to its various priorities (in commitments):

-53.8 billion euros for the Common Agricultural Policy and 1.1 billion euros for the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, for European farmers and fishermen, but also for strengthening the resilience of the agri-food and fishing sectors and providing the necessary capabilities for crisis management.

-€47.9 billion for regional development and cohesion to support economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as infrastructure to support the green transition and the Union’s priority projects.

-€15.8 billion to support our partners and our interests in the world, of which €11.4 billion under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Mechanism — Europe in the World (NEDC — Europe in world), €2.1 billion for the Mechanism for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III) and €1.7 billion for humanitarian aid (HUMA).

-13.6 billion euros for research and innovation, of which 12.8 billion euros for the Union’s flagship research program “Horizon Europe”. The draft budget also includes funding for the European Microcircuits Act under the Horizon Europe program and through redeployment from other programmes.

-€4.6 billion for European strategic investments, of which €2.7 billion for the “Connecting Europe” mechanism to improve cross-border infrastructure, €1.3 billion for the “Digital Europe” program in order to shape the digital future of the Union and €348 million for the InvestEU program for key priorities (research and innovation, dual green and digital transition, health sector and strategic technologies).

-€2.1 billion for expenditure earmarked for space, mainly for the European Space Programme, which will bring together the Union’s actions in this strategic area.

-€10.3bn for human resources, social cohesion and values, of which €3.96bn for rising borrowing costs for the NGEU (which will be closely monitored), €3.7bn €332 million to support artists and creators across Europe and €215 million to promote justice, rights and values.

-€2.4 billion for environment and climate action, of which €745 million for the LIFE program to support climate change mitigation and adaptation, and €1.5 billion for the Just Transition Fund to ensure that the green transition works for everyone.

-€2.2 billion to protect our borders, including €1.1 billion for the Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) and €874 million for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) .

-€1.7 billion for migration-related spending, including €1.5 billion to support migrants and asylum seekers in line with our values ​​and priorities.

-€1.6 billion to address defense challenges, of which €638 million to support capacity building and research under the European Defense Fund (EDF), €241 million to support of military mobility, €260 million for the new short-term defense instrument (EDIRPA) and €343 million to support ammunition production.

-€947 million to ensure the functioning of the single market, including €602 million for the Single Market programme, and almost €200 million for work on anti-fraud, taxation and customs.

-€754 million for the EU4Health program to ensure an integrated health response to people’s needs, as well as €230 million for the Union’s civil protection mechanism (rescEU) to enable the rapid deployment of operational assistance in the event of a crisis.

-€726 million for security, including €315 million for the Internal Security Fund (ISF), which will fight terrorism, radicalisation, organized crime and cybercrime.

-€213 million for secure satellite connections under the Union’s new secure connectivity programme.

The draft budget for 2024 is part of the Union’s long-term budget, as adopted at the end of 2020, and seeks to translate its priorities into concrete annual results. The budget remains on track to allocate 30% of the long-term budget and the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument to combat climate change.

Lena Flitzani