Parliament adopts EU budget for 2010

Parliament has adopted the final EU budget for 2010, which will be €141.4 billion in commitments and €122.9 billion in payments. The main challenge for this year's budget was to find the funding for the already agreed but not yet financed economic recovery plan, which will cost the EU €2.4 billion next year.

The 2010 budget is the last one agreed under the Nice Treaty rules. The payments figure represents 1.04% of EU gross national income (GNI). MEPs have finally approved it after the debate held on Tuesday plenary session.

The €5 billion European Economic Recovery Plan covers the years 2009 and 2010 and supports energy projects and broadband development in rural areas. When it was agreed earlier this year, the financing for the second year (€2.4 billion) was not settled. After the last month's negotiations, the EU institutions have agreed on how to finance it: by using unspent funds and margins (mainly for agriculture and administration) for 2009 and 2010, and by the Member States adding €120 million in fresh money.

Parliament's influence on the budget

The fresh money for the recovery plan, a figure of €300 million in emergency support for the dairy industry and €75 million in funding to help decommission the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria were among points in the budget that were significantly influenced by Parliament.

MEPs also voted to back a series of pilot projects and preparatory actions, ranging from the recovery of obsolete fishing vessels to surveillance and protection for Community vessels sailing through areas where piracy is a threat.

This annual budget was the last to be negotiated under the Nice Treaty rules, under which Parliament had no formal power over agriculture expenditure and certain other areas. With the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament gains full powers over the EU budget.