European Commission proposes 7-year budget, tying funding to rule of law
BRUSSELS, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a budget for the 2021-2027 period, which ties European Union (EU) funding to the rule of law.
A major innovation in the proposed budget is the strengthened link between EU funding and the rule of law, the Commission said in a statement.
"We will ensure sound financial management through the first ever rule of law mechanism. This is what it means to act responsibly with our taxpayers' money," said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The new proposed tools would allow the Union to suspend, reduce or restrict access to EU funding in a manner proportionate to the nature, gravity and scope of the rule of law deficiencies.
The proposed budget represents 1.11 percent of the total gross national income (GNI) of the bloc, which will have 27 nations after Brexit.
According to the proposal, the expenditure for external border management, migration and asylum has almost tripled to reach around 33 billion euros, up from the current 13 billion euros.
The investment in research and innovation has been increased by 50 percent. The investments in digital transformation and networks got an almost 9 fold increase to reach 12 billion euros.
It will also increase investment in research and innovation by 50 percent, with 100 billion euros set aside for the flagship programs Horizon Europe and Euratom, according to the statement.
However, for both the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy programs, as these have the largest share of the EU budget, the Commission proposed to cut roughly 5 percent to meet the hole left by the Brexit, it said.
The long-term EU budget proposal will then fall to the Council of the European Union, acting by unanimity, with the consent of the European Parliament.