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First reading, in Council, of draft EU budget for 1996

The draft budget for 1996 was adopted at first reading by the Budget Council of 18 July 1995. It will now be sent to the European Parliament where it will receive its first reading in October. The draft budget totals ECU 86,019 million in commitment appropriations and ECU 81,3...

The draft budget for 1996 was adopted at first reading by the Budget Council of 18 July 1995. It will now be sent to the European Parliament where it will receive its first reading in October. The draft budget totals ECU 86,019 million in commitment appropriations and ECU 81,359 million in payment appropriations. The Council, the Parliament and the Commission successfully concluded inter-institutional consultations on compulsory expenses. There should, therefore, be no conflict on the 1996 agricultural budget. The Council supported the preliminary draft budget of the European Commission concerning expenses for the common agricultural policy (CAP) and the structural funds. The draft budget foresees an allocation of ECU 41 billion for agriculture and ECU 29 billion for structural actions. The Council did, however, make a number of cuts in budget lines for internal policies and external actions. The Commission had, for example, proposed ECU 139 million in commitment appropriations and ECU 132 million in payment appropriations for environmental policies. The Council reduced these amounts to ECU 126 million and ECU 123 million respectively. The only budget increase introduced by the Council with regard to the Commission's preliminary budget, concerned trans-European networks with an additional ECU 50 million being allocated to priority transport projects. This increase is in line with decisions reached at the European Council in Cannes. The Council failed to reach agreement on the financing of the THERMIE II programme.

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