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Funding for cohesion to be Latvia’s priority in 2019 EU budget

Photo: Saeima Press Service
Latvia’s priority in the 2019 European Union budget will be funding for cohesion, as mentioned in the national position approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. This position will be reported to Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 16 November.

Finance Ministry reports that there will be a meeting of the council organized in Brussels on 16 November. It will be in preparation for the upcoming meeting of the European Parliament, during which it is planned to reach an agreement on the EU general budget for 2019.

On 23 May, European Commission presented a proposal for the next year EU budget project. On 4 September, EU Council affirmed its position. EP affirmed its position at the 24 October plenary meeting.

In the EU 2019 budget project, EC proposes setting total appropriations for commitments at EUR 164.997 billion and total payment appropriations at EUR 148.179 billion. EU Council’s approach reduced both appropriations – to EUR 163.49 billion and EUR 147.76 billion, respectively. This helped form additional flexibility and reserves for the EU budget.

Long-term annual restrictions on expenditures are exceeded in multiple categories in EP’s position. At the same time it restores EU Council’s reductions and appropriated resources to EC’s initial proposal. Latvia’s Finance Ministry notes that positions of both decision-making institutions differ when it comes to the 2019 budget plan. This is why a peace procedure was launched 30 October. During this procedure, both sides have to reach an agreement in regards to the final budget document and funding volume for next year.

The first meeting will be organized this week. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, European Commission will have to come up with a new budget project.

Latvia stresses in its position that it is necessary to reach an agreement on the multi-year budget as soon as possible. Additionally, it is necessary to approve the general budget volume so that it is as close as possible to EU Council’s approved position. Latvia does not support European Parliament’s position and that it violates lasting restrictions on appropriations. The budget has to secure both sufficient reserves for emergencies and funding for programmes.

Latvia’s priorities for the 2019 EU budget include sufficient funding for cohesion, resolution of the crisis in the agriculture sector, as well as European neighbour relations instrument.

Horizontally Latvia supports allocation of resources for strategic communication. Latvia also points towards multiple opportunities to save money on administrative resources.

«Latvia is prepared to show flexibility if it means reaching a compromise between the two institutions, but only as long as conditions regarding the budget’s total volume and Latvia’s priorities are respected in the process,» as mentioned in Latvia’s position.


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