European Parliament: Finance

Treasury written question – answered on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of James Clappison James Clappison Conservative, Hertsmere

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the appropriateness of the (a) size of the budget of the European Parliament in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011 and (b) the annual (A) nominal and (B) percentage change in the size of the budget in each of the last five years; what proportion of the budget heading 5 (administration) of the European Union budget is accounted for by the European Parliament budget; and if he will take steps in the Council of Ministers to reduce the costs of the European Parliament.

Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The UK contribution faces upward pressure due to the 2005 abatement giveaway worth around €2 billion per annum by 2012.

Each year, the European Parliament (EP) budget accounts for around 20% of Heading 5 (administration) of the EU budget. The following table contains detailed data on the EP budget.

The European Parliament budget in 2010 represented just under a fifth of total spend under Heading 5. At a time when European voters are experiencing the effects of tough fiscal consolidation measures, the European Parliament needs to ensure that it is delivering maximum value for money for every euro it receives.

The UK was one of only a few member states to reject an amendment to the 2010 EU budget, increasing the European Parliament's budget this year by 9.4 million euros.

The EP budget for 2011 has not yet been agreed, so it is not possible to give data on the EP budget for that year. However, the Government believe that the proposal in the Commission's draft budget for 2011 of €8,255 million spend on administration overall is too high and must be reduced. The Government are arguing that payments in the 2011 EU budget should remain at cash levels equivalent to the 2010 budget. Further, we will continue to engage with counterparts across the EU to build support where possible to end the wasteful dual sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels.

€ million
2010 % change 2009( 1) % change 2008 % change 2007 % change 2006 % change 2005 % change
European Parliament 1,616 5.7 1,530 5.3 1,453 3.9 1,398 5.7 1,322 4.6 1,264 5.0
Heading 5 (admin.) 7,898 - 7,695 - 7.279 - 6,978 - 6,604 - 6,351 -
EP as a proportion of H5 20.46 - 19.88 - 19.96 - 20.03 - 20.02 - 19.90 -
(1) European Parliament numbers from 2005-07 are source:

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