EU’s 2016 budget adopted by European Parliament

After months of preparation, debate European Parliament agrees to expand its budget by 1.8 percent due to soaring refugee crisis

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

The European Parliament has adopted the EU budget for 2016 on Wednesday.

MEPs adopted the budget by 516 votes to 179, with eight abstentions following the European Council's formal approval of the deal on November 14. It was then signed into law by President Martin Schulz, according to a parliament statement.

Luxembourg's Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, who led budget negotiations on behalf of the member states, thanked MEPs after the vote for their "excellent co-operation" throughout the talks.

The EU budget for 2016 sets commitment appropriations at 155 billion euros ($164 billion) and payment appropriations at 143.9 billion euros ($152.43 billion), with a 1.8 percent increase in spending.

"Parliament secured the maximum amount of funding possible for migration and refugees, small and medium sized enterprises, students, and the EU research programme Horizon 2020," read the statement.

The 2016 EU budget has more than doubled the funding for migration-related measures within the 28-member bloc to 1.53 billion euros from 658 million euros in 2015.