The European Parliament approved the agreement sealed last week with the Council on the European Union’s budget for 2020 on Wednesday.
The budget agreed by the European Parliament and the European Council on November 15, represents an increase of between 1.5 percent and 3.4 percent compared to the 2019 budget, while raising the proportion of funds that will go to programs that contribute to the fight against climate change to 21 percent.
After the Council gave its formal approval to the agreement on Monday, the last step for it to enter into force was the approval of the parliament, which on Wednesday supported gave its support by a large majority, with 563 votes in favor, 136 against and 23 abstentions.
The negotiation of the 2020 budget has been seen as a prelude to the more complex talks to agree on the multiannual financial framework of the EU, which sets the expenditure ceilings for each item for the years between 2021 and 2027.
The negotiation of the 2021-2027 multiannual framework will be the first without the United Kingdom, which must leave the block in 2020, and has the added complexity of having to negotiate with a more fragmented parliament after the May elections.
The fact that the 2020 accounts have come forward within the deadline and with the support of five parliamentary groups gives some optimism, as the speakers of the Chamber indicated when reaching the agreement.
However, MEPs took the opportunity to point out that they expect a more ambitious 2021-2027 financial framework than the one proposed so far by the European Commission, which calls for a volume equivalent to 1.1 percent of the joint Gross National Income of the twenty-seven member states ( 1.28 billion euros).
“This is a very positive agreement for the EU, but we are still far from 1.3 percent of the GNI that we ask for the 2021-2027 financial framework, far from the ambitious budget that could be a turning point in the fight against change climate and inequality,” said Spanish socialist Eider Gardiazabal.