The finance ministers of the European Union’s member states have approved €7.3 billion in top-up funds for the EU’s budget for 2013. The ministers gave their approval in Brussels today (9 July) in the context of a wider agreement struck at the end of June on the Union’s next long-term budget. Under the deal, the €7.3bn are to be seen as a first instalment toward the European Commission’s top-up request of €11.2bn, with ministers expected to take a decision on what to do about the balance outstanding in the autumn.
Today’s decision paves the way for the European Parliament to endorse the 2014-20 multi-annual financial framework when it reconvenes in September. MEPs had made a deal on the top-up request for the 2013 budget a condition for their backing of the MFF.
MEPs in September will also have to endorse today’s decision by the finance ministers in order for the top-up funds to be made available. The Parliament’s budgets committee is expected to back the decision at a meeting on Thursday (11 July).
The decision puts in legally binding form an agreement by the member states in May to pay a first instalment, as well as to consider a second instalment once the Commission presents updates figures on the balance in the autumn.
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