On Monday 8 December, the negotiators of the Council and Parliament finally agreed on a provisional agreement for the EU budget 2015.

Karine Sohet, commenting on behalf of CONCORD said:

“Today’s provisional budget agreement is a welcome first step to face the immediate cash crisis that threatens many EU development & humanitarian aid programmes around the world.

CONCORD now hopes that the European Commission will be able to stabilise the amount of unpaid bills by the end of 2015 without having to drastically reduce or suspend new commitments in favour of development cooperation and the promotion of human rights and democracy.

If the EU wants to support sustainable development then it must ensure sustainable and predictable financial resources.”

In line with the new draft budget tabled by the Commission, the external action budget amounts to €8,408mn in commitment appropriations and €7,422mn in payment appropriations. This latter figure includes increased payment appropriations to cover a small part of the 2014 unpaid bills. To find a more structural and long-term solution to the current budget crisis, caused by therecurrent gap between commitment and payment levels and the snowballing of unpaid bills, the Commission is now tasked to come up with a plan to reduce the amount of the unpaid bills to a sustainable level by 2016, while still meeting the Union’s ambitions as a global actor.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Daniel Puglisi: Daniel.Puglisi@concordeurope.org

Lonne Poissonier: Lonne.Poissonier@concordeurope.org