ECOFIN: Window to EU budget cuts in 2025

In an EU “realist” for 2025 he urged it after its meeting on Tuesday (12.3.2024) while leaving open the possibility of spending cuts where necessary. In particular, ECOFIN considers that the budget for 2025 should be in line with the real needs, and urges the Commission to align the draft budget for 2025 with the New Financial Framework Agreement as described in the conclusions of the European Council of 1 February 2024. In this respect, the need to identify the necessary redistributions of resources to finance priorities is stressed. At the same time, it is stressed that budgetary discipline must be respected by all the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union and stresses the need to budget only the expenditure items deemed necessary under the responsibility of the Commission to comply with what is agreed on as ‘necessary’. The ECOFIN document emphasises the need for predictability and Member States’ contributions to the EU and payments from the EU budget to the Member States, recalling that they must be precise in order to avoid undesirable challenges for national budgets. The Council of Ministers proposes that there should be corrective financial instruments, such as amending budgets and being kept at a minimum, calling on the Commission to present relevant drafts as soon as possible. It is therefore stressed that in order for the national parliaments to have sufficient time to carry out detailed checks and for the Council to prepare its position thoroughly, the Commission must present the draft budget for 2025 as soon as possible, and preferably by the last week of May. Finally, the Council of the Ministry of Interior reaffirmed again that the EU remains committed to providing financial relief to Ukraine, for as long as necessary, and supporting its resilience and its long-term reconstruction. ECOFIN stresses that it is important that the budget for 2025 is also geared to the solidarity of the Union with the people of Ukraine and respond to the relevant crises.