Questions and Answers: Proposal to amend EU Budget for 2021 to support global vaccination and funding for global emergencies.

(Source: European Commission)

What is a Draft Amending Budget and why can it be necessary?

The Draft Amending Budget is a legislative proposal to update the agreed EU budget for the current year and make sure it better responds to immediate needs and recent political developments in line with the EU priorities.

Putting forward Draft Amending Budgets is a standard practice, and the Commission regularly makes proposals for amendments to the EU budget throughout the year, either to amend the spending- or the revenue side of the budget.

Once the Commission has put forward a Draft Amending Budget, the proposal needs to be approved by the European Parliament and by EU Member States in the Council. Only then will the proposed funds become available to recipients and beneficiaries of EU funds.

What is the procedure for adopting a Draft Amending Budget?

Draft Amending Budgets are adopted in the same way as the originally agreed EU budget.

The Commission has made a proposal to amend the budget for 2021 on 8 October. On that basis, EU Member States in the Council will come up with a position whether or not to agree with the Commission proposal as such, whether to amend it or to reject it. Once the Council adopts its position, it is transmitted to the European Parliament. The Parliament can adopt the Council position (either unchanged or with amendments) or propose their own amendments.

If the Parliament and the Council propose no amendments, or if the Parliament adopts the Council amendments, the Parliament would vote on the proposal. The Draft Amending Budget will become a legally binding amendment following a positive vote in the European Parliament plenary and a signature of the European Parliament President.

In cases where the Parliament and the Council propose different amendments to the Commission proposal, a conciliation procedure is launched in order to find a common agreement.

What is Draft Amending Budget 6 about? 

Draft Amending Budget 6 is about providing additional support to policy areas, which need reinforcement in view of recent developments and additional needs.

More concretely, with the additional funds that Draft Amending Budget 6 will provide, the EU will be able to help speed up global vaccinations, ensure funding for global emergencies like repatriation flights from Afghanistan, reinforce the EU response to the disasters in Haiti and outstanding operations including fighting forest fires and address other pending issues.  

Why is the Commission proposing to reinforce the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument?

With less than 1% of global doses of vaccine for COVID-19 having been administered in low and lower-middle income countries, there is a clear and pressing need to speed up global vaccinations. The EU has already committed to share 250 million doses and stands ready to provide an additional 200 million doses to low and middle income countries through COVAX, at the latest by mid-2022. To secure these extra doses, a total of €1.3 billion will be needed. Of this total amount, €850 million are already available within existing EU budget instruments. The Draft Amending Budget 6 will provide the additional €450 million that are still needed to reach the full €1.3 billion. This is possible by mobilising the EU Flexibility Instrument, which is specifically designed to provide funding for new or unforeseen policy developments.

Why is the Commission proposing to reinforce the Union Civil Protection Mechanism?

In response to the emergencies and natural disasters which occurred last summer, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) was activated on several occasions. It helped to respond to a series of actions, including repatriation flights for EU nationals based in Afghanistan, operations in Haiti following the recent earthquake and fighting forest fires in Europe. Additionally, further activations are expected before the end of the year to help address the consequences of the tropical cyclones in the Latin-American region and in the Pacific.

The funds foreseen in the budget to address emergencies are not sufficient to cover these measures. Therefore, to allow the EU to act and provide assistance where needed, a reinforcement of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism budget by €57.8 million is needed. Via Draft Amending Budget 6, the Commission is proposing to use funds originally foreseen for other purposes, but which will not be used by the end of the year to address these needs.

Where will the funds come from?

To finance these actions, no additional payments will be needed in 2021.

The full amount necessary for the vaccines and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism will be financed either within the existing instruments (the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument and the Emergency Support Instrument) or by redirection of payments orginally foreseen for other programmes.

More information

Draft Amending Budget 6

Adopted EU budget 2021

Global response to coronavirus

Union Civil Protection Mechanism

RescEU

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