2012 Budget: expenses

Logical counter part of the description of the resources of the European Union, here is the list of the expenses of the EU.

Expenses categories

The Commission has carefully organized the expenses in different categories for the pluri-annual framework 2007-2013.

  • Growth: this theme account for 46% of the expenditures in the 2012 draft budget. It regroups competitiveness (in particular innovation) and cohesion (for example with the European Structural Funds).
  • Natural resources: this category (40% of the 2012 budget) represents the Common Agricultural Policy and the measures for the environment.
  • Citizenship, Justice, Immigration (including Frontex), culture, … Just 1.3% of the 2012 budget.
  • External Actions (including Lady Ashton’s service) account for just above 6% of the budget for next year.
  • Finally, Administration (the money used to keep the lights on in the Berlaymont) amounts for 5.6% of the budget.
Two forms of expenses
There is two forms of spending for the EU:
  • The Commitments are the funds allocated for the Union programs and will be spent as time goes.
  • The payments are the forecast bills the Europe will have to pay.
Generally, for each category, commitments and payments are evenly distributed.
Cap and flexibility,
As said in the description of EU’s resources, the European Budget does not forecast any deficit, since the member states contributions are adjusted to match the expenses. That means that expenses are capped, by categories and also globally.
However, to face unforeseen situations, the EU has some emergency funds. Each year, 221 millions of euros are ready for emergency aid (typically for humanitarian reasons), one billion of euros can be used from the Solidarity Fund in case of major disaster in a member state (or a candidate). The small amount of 200 millions euros is available to finances expenses above the budget cap. Finally, a Globalisation adjustment fund of 500 millions euros can be used to help facing the economic change linked to the market globalization.
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One Comment on “2012 Budget: expenses”

  1. […] describing the European Union sources of money and the expenses categories, we will now look at the evolution of these expenses in the previous […]


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