The European Commission is proposing a larger long-term EU budget for the post-Brexit era than the current one, to be agreed before the European elections in May 2019, budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger revealed on Wednesday (14 February).

The EU executive outlined options for the budget that will be discussed for the first time by EU leaders next Friday (23 February) at an informal summit.

Budget overview

The annual EU budget is €145 bn (2015 figures).

The budget is subject to limits established by the multiannual financial framework. This sets the maximum annual amounts which the EU can spend in various policy areas over a given period (usually 7 years).

The EU budget is used in areas where it makes sense to pool resources for the good of Europe as a whole, such as:

  • improving transport, energy and communications links between EU countries
  • protecting the environment Europe-wide
  • making the European economy more competitive globally
  • helping European scientists and researchers join forces across borders.