Revised European multiannual budget includes nearly 10bn euros extra for migration

On top of the 50 billion euro financial aid package for Ukraine, European Union leaders approved a further 9.6 billion euros for migration policies during their Brussels summit. This is almost 3 billion euros less than the Commission had hoped for.

The approval of the substantial aid package for Ukraine stole all the attention at Thursday's summit. But there was another reason to consider the meeting historic. As the European Commission pointed out, it was the first time that member states had been prepared to raise the ceilings of an ongoing multiannual budget in the middle of the year. Ultimately, an extra 21 billion euros will be put on the table.

However, the leaders significantly reduced the proposals made by the Commission last summer. While the Commission had asked for almost 80 billion euros, only 64.6 billion euros remained.

Additional funds

The 33 billion euro loan package remained unchanged, as did the 17 billion euro grant requested for Ukraine. This leaves 4 billion euros unspent, but member states have also taken around 10 billion euros from other spending items to provide additional funds for new challenges. These include the Horizon research programme, the globalisation fund and EU4Health. The latter loses 1 billion euros, more than a quarter of its budget.

In return, an additional 9.6 billion euros will be allocated to internal and external migration policies. The Commission had asked for 12.5 billion, with slightly more for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and policies in the southern neighbouring countries, but this is still a substantial increase.

The Commission also wanted 10 billion euros for investment in strategic technologies, but leaders rejected this. They only agreed to an extra 1.5 billion euros for the European Defence Fund. Member states rejected 1.9 billion euros for administrative costs and reduced emergency aid for natural disasters, which receives 1.5 billion euros extra instead of 2.5 billion.

Covid-19 recovery plan

Finally, a cascade mechanism has been built into the multiannual budget to deal with the financing costs of the Covid-19 recovery plan, where the EU will face interest rate increases in 2020 that were not taken into account when the plan was drawn up.

By 2027, interest costs are estimated to be 15 billion euros higher than initially projected. The mechanism involves first looking at the planned budget line, then exploring possible margins in other sectoral annual budgets and, in the worst case, considering a new safety net based on additional national contributions.



Related news

Website preview
Orban explains why he agreed on budget for Ukraine
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has defended the agreement reached at the European summit on a financial aid package for Ukraine in a video on social media. Orbán blocked an agreement in December.
Website preview
European Parliament seeks to prevent 'risk' of Orban becoming president of Council
The majority of political groups in the European Parliament want the Council of the European Union to find a “solution” to the possibility of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban becoming president of the European Council if Charles Michel steps down without a successor in place. The request is included in a joint resolution by the groups that they will vote on on Thursday.

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels