EU budget for 2013

The annual budget for 2013 is divided into seven funding streams. The member countries are currently in discussion over the total budget for the next seven years. If they are unable to reach an agreement on that seven-year budget, then the annual budget for 2013 will be rolled over into 2014.

Proposed EU budget for 2010: €130bn

Graphic showing budget sectors as coloured bands
  • Cohesion €42.5bn

    Funding for countries and regions that are economically lagging behind other member states.

  • Competitiveness €12.1bn

    Supports research and development, promotes sustainable energy and tries to improve training.

  • Citizenship, freedom, security and justice €1.4bn

    Includes fighting terrorism, dealing with refugees, encouraging film production and helping students study in other member states.

  • Common Agricultural Policy €43.6bn

    Aid for farmers around the EU - helps maintain rural communities.

  • Rural development
    and fisheries €14.4bn

    Helps to diversify economy in rural areas, support fishing communities and promote green energy.

  • Administration €8.2bn

    Funds EU institutions. Pays pensions to former EU staff and provides schools for the children of EU staff.

  • EU as a global player €7.6bn

    Includes providing development aid to non-EU countries and assisting countries that want to join.

Source: European Commission

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The 2013 EU budget is 132.8bn euros (£108bn; $176bn). It is a 2.4% increase on the 2012 budget.

The figure was reached in mid-December after much wrangling between the European Parliament, member states' governments and EU Commission. The Commission says it is 5bn euros below the draft budget, so there is still a risk of a funding shortfall.

Over the past decade, the EU budget has risen considerably, as the graph below shows. Twelve countries have joined the EU since 2000, bringing the total to 27.

Bear in mind that the EU usually spends less than its budget allows, so that the final spending figure for 2013 may be less than the approved budget.

The EU budget represents about 1% of the member states' total GDP.

Chart showing EU budgets since 2000

In 2012, five countries - Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Spain - contributed nearly half of the EU budget.

Each country's payment is divided into three parts: a fixed percentage of gross national income (GNI), customs duties collected on behalf of the EU (known as "traditional own resources") and a percentage of VAT (sales tax) income.

There is one other important part of the revenue calculations: the UK rebate, which returns to the UK about half of its net contribution to the budget. The system was set up because in the 1980s relatively more of the UK contribution went into EU agricultural support, which mainly benefited farmers in France and other Mediterranean countries.

This rebate is paid for by the other 26 countries as a fixed amount of their gross national income. In 2011 the rebate was 3.56bn euros.

Graph of EU contributions by member states

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