Budgetary Power

It has been via the budget that the European Parliament has progressively won a certain number of major competences.

Hence in 1970, the le Luxembourg Treaty gave the European Parliament the power to amend the budget. It introduced the system of “own resources”: the European Communities were to receive a share of customs duties, VAT and agricultural taxes from the Member States.
In 1975, the Brussels Treatygranted the European Parliament the right to adopt the European budget definitively ; it also strengthened its power to amend by establishing the distinction between «  compulsory expenditure and non-compulsory expenditure.” .
Since 2009 and the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this distinction into two categories has been abolished, which strengthens the European Parliament’s budgetary power.

Adoption of the Budget

The European Parliament shares the budgetary power with the Council of Ministers these two institutions comprise the European Union’s “budgetary authority“. They decide what the European Union will spend for the year. These have to be established within the limits established by the ” multiannual financial perspective “, or the “pluriannual financial framework”; this is established for 7 years via an inter-institutional agreement. Parliament is not however able to intervene with regard to the total amount contained within this financial framework.
In 2014, European Union’s budget  totals 135.50 billion euro in payment appropriations and 142. 64 billion euro in commitment appropriations, which is the equivalent to a decrease of 6.2% in comparison with 2013.

After six months of intense negotiation the Parliament adopted the long term EU budget on 19th November 2013 for the period 2014-2020.
The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers have to adopt a preliminary draft budget established by the European Commission. The special legislative procedure in force now finds its source in the ordinary legislative procedure and provides almost equal power to the Parliament but it does oblige it however to adhere to great internal consensus. The procedure is restricted to one reading per institution and the timetable is tight. A conciliation committee is convened if an agreement is not reached.
The European Parliament does not have the competence to set the global volume of the community budget.
The  president of European Parliament finalises the procedure by confirming that the budget has finally been adopted.
→ For more information on the community budget 2013, click here

→ For more information on the distribution of community budget financing per type of revenue in 2013, click here

→ For more information on the Breakdown of the budget into main sectors in 2013, click here

Budgetary Control

By way of its Committee on Budgetary control (« Cocobu »), the European Parliament controls how the European Commission uses community funds.
At the end of each budgetary year (1st January to 31st December each year), the European Commission presents a report on how it has used community funds to the European Parliament. The European Parliament then decides on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers to grant, to adjourn or to refuse the Commission the “budgetary discharge” for its execution of the community budget. This procedure enables the completion of the budgetary year.
It is the threat of not granting the discharge in 1999 because of a lack of transparency in the Commission’s management that initiated the process whereby Jacques Santer’s Commission resigned collectively.