11:53 am - Thursday November 5, 2015

European Parliament approves seven-year EU budget

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EU threatens to freeze data sharing with US
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Brussels – The European Parliament Tuesday formally approved a seve! n-year budget for the European Union (EU), paving the way for financial aid to boost several economic sectors.

The so-called Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) was adopted by 537 votes to 126 during parliament’s meeting Tuesday, allowing the EU to invest up to 960 billion euros (about $1.30 trillion) in commitments and 908.4 billion euros in payments, Xinhua reported.

“This is a great day for Europe. The European Parliament has given its final blessing to the European budget from 2014 until 2020, thus bringing successfully an end to long negotiations,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement.

According to the EU, the budget will invest almost 1 trillion euros in some sectors could boost economic growth and employment.

At least 70 billion euros will be available for a significant contribution to job creation through the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, complementing national act! ion in this field.

Around 80 billion euros, 30 percent! more than in the current framework in real terms, will be allocated to research and innovation sectors aimed at improving Europeans’ quality of life and the EU’s global competitiveness.

The budget is expected to deliver 2.3 billion euros to support small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of Europe’s economy accounting for around 99 percent of all European businesses and providing two out of three private sector jobs.

“The shape, size and priorities of our new budget are clear. Businesses, regions, cities and farmers can plan their investments; researchers can conceive their projects, and students can start to prepare for their stay abroad,” Barroso added.

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