MEPs set overall EU budget for 2018 at €162.6 billion (+1.2% on the Commission’s draft budget) for commitments and €146.7 billion (+0.9%) for payments.  

In their budgetary resolution, MEPs reaffirm their commitment “to financing Union policies that enhance jobs and growth in all its regions through investments in research, education, infrastructure, SMEs and employment, in particular among young people.” They nonetheless stress that they fail “to understand how the Union can achieve progress in these fields considering the cuts proposed by the Council (…).” 

The resolution on Parliament’s position on the EU’s budget for 2018 was approved by 414 votes to 163, with 90 abstentions. 

MEPs increased the Youth Employment Initiative by €366.7 million in commitment appropriations, raising the total to €600 million, to help youngsters desperately seeking a job. 

They rejected the Council’s “unjustified €750 million cuts” in the “growth and jobs” area, warning that such cuts “would jeopardize programmes with real European added value and a direct impact on job and growth creation, such as Horizon 2020 or the Connecting Europe Facility.” 

They therefore decided to reinforce, on top of the Commission’s budget proposal, “those programmes that are key to boosting growth and jobs and that reflect widely agreed Union priorities, namely Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 (Marie Curie, European Research Council, SME Instrument), COSME, and EaSI (Progress and Eures).” 

For Parliament  “tackling migration and security must remain top Union priorities”, say MEPs, adding that the available funds have proven “vastly insufficient to fund adequately the internal dimension of those challenges.”