EU budget for 2015 clears last hurdle
The European Union on Wednesday adopted a budget for next year that contains seed money to launch the new commission's investment plan to revive the bloc's economy.
The European parliament overwhelmingly adopted a budget that it had agreed with the 28 member states and that sets aside 141.2 billion euros ($175.8 billion) in payments.
The budget -- which passed with 443 votes for, seven against and 50 abstentions -- contains eight billion euros in seed money aimed at helping launch European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker's 315 billion euro investment plan to kickstart the stalling EU economy.
The deal also provides for an increase of payments by 3.5 billion euros for the 2014 budget to tackle what the European Council -- which groups the leaders of the member states -- called "the unprecedented scale of unpaid bills."
But the EU has accumulated between 25 billion and 30 billion euros of unpaid bills in total, which will be kicked over to next year's budget negotiations.
Complicating matters this year was an angry row over the recalculation of member state contributions to the EU budget that saw Britain tapped to pay an extra 2.1 billion euros.
© 2014 AFP