The 2022 Budget: A victory for health, climate & rule of law

Author: Yannick Laude

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With only a few minutes to spare, the EU Parliament and the Council have reached an agreement on the EU Budget for the year 2022.

The agreement involves a significant increase of financial means, involving €440 million more than the initial draft budget, reflecting key priorities for the future of Renew Europe.

  1. Renew Europe believes that Europe must lead the way in vaccinating the world in order to eliminate the pandemic worldwide - if we do not end it now, it will drag on for years. After introducing a group amendment for a large budgetary increase for international Covid vaccines, that became a priority of the entire Parliament, the agreement now includes €125 million new money for international vaccines, including funding for logistics, syringes, and deliveries. We also ensured the Commission made an amendment for the current year, after requesting it to the Commission in September 2021—the Commission has submitted a budgetary amendment for €1.3 billion in the recent DAB 6/2021. All this money will become available at the beginning of 2022 to vaccinate the world. The institutions have moreover committed to review and propose further action by mid-2022.
  2. Rule of law is a central priority of our group. That is why Renew Europe made it a priority to seek extra funding for the EPPO. This is not an expenditure; this is an investment: already only four months after starting its operation, they have 300 files open for a total of €4.5bn. EPPO staff will be increased by 76 personnel and the budget was increased by €12 million.
  3. Health systems are under stress across Europe, that is why we need money now. Renew Europe has therefore pursued a significant increase in EU4health of €51 million for next year (this includes €20 million initially planned to be spent later, but because of the urgency, will be spent now) and an extra €75 million for the Cluster health under Horizon Europe, which will help finance HERA.
  4. Erasmus is always a priority for our group—an entire generation of students could not travel because of the pandemic. This is why we pursued an increase of €35 million in the budget of the Erasmus+ programme. More than 8,000 extra students will benefit from scholarships to study abroad in 2022.
  5. Finally, we at Renew Europe believe that Europe must lead the green transition. This is even more true after COP26. That is why we have made it a key priority to increase the funding of LIFE, the EU program that finances the environment and climate actions, by €47,5 million.

Nicolae ŞTEFĂNUȚĂ (USR, Romania), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur on the general budget 2022 said: “The EU budget for 2022 will help Europe to come back better. Renew has pushed successfully for EU citizens' priorities, for health, for climate and for protecting EU budget from fraud. Character is forged in difficult times and the character of Europe tonight is one of solidarity, ambition and vision.

Olivier CHASTEL (MR, Belgium), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur for the Parliament’s budget of other EU institutions, added: “We got extra investment in our priorities: research, the digital transformation, health, and the environment. The control of expenditure is also reinforced thanks to Renew, by increasing the budget of the European Court of Auditors together with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Mission accomplished.