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Ministry: EU budget agreement crowning achievement of Estonian EU Presidency.

BNS/TBT staff

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, under the leadership of Estonia, on the night between Friday and Saturday, November 17 and November 18 respectively, reached an agreement on an EU budget for 2018, which according to the Estonian Finance Ministry, is one of the biggest achievements of the Estonian EU Presidency.

"Reaching an agreement on the 2018 EU budget is definitely one of the biggest achievements of the Estonian Presidency. Months of work paid off, and we reached a result, which will definitely help move the European Union forward," Mart Kivine, Estonia's Deputy Finance Minister and chief negotiator for the 2018 EU budget, said. He added that the agreement in question is a vivid example of how the good will of institutions to cooperate ensures success.

"The agreed budget is based on the EU's political priorities and takes into account the capability of member states to utilize resources. In addition, enough reserves have been left to react to the changing environment," Kivine was quoted by ministry spokespeople as saying.

The budget of the European Union for next year is 160.1 b Euros. The budget focuses strongly on priorities such as: boosting economic growth and job creation, strengthening security and addressing the challenges posed by migration. Compared to this year, the budget will include increasing the funding for the EU research and development program Horizon 2020 by 8.4 per cent, and increase the budget of the Connecting Europe Facility for cross-border infrastructure projects by 8 per cent.

Payments to member states from structural and investment funds will increase drastically. While expenditure responsibilities next year will increase only 0.2 per cent compared to this year, payments are to rise 14 per cent to 144.7 b Euros.

The conciliation meeting of the Council of the European Union and European Parliament concerning the 2018 EU budget lasted for a total of 18 hours. Estonia as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union led the whole budget process and conciliation meeting.

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Title Annotation:ESTONIAN NEWS
Publication:The Baltic Times (Riga, Latvia)
Geographic Code:4EXES
Date:Nov 29, 2017
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