Today the Budget Committee met in Vienna to discuss the ongoing challenges regarding the EU budget, in particular the Programme Statements for the current period of the MFF (2014‑2020). The annual budget of the European Union is one of the most important topics for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance during the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, thus making this event vital for the ongoing 2019 budgetary procedure.
During the meeting the European Commission presented the new Programmes’ Performance Overview, which is a condensation of the Programme Statements working document released annually together with the draft budget. The Commission explained the rationale behind the production of this overview as well as the link to the initiative “EU Budget Focused on Results”.
Member states used the opportunity to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the Programmes’ Performance Overview in a more informal setting and voiced their ideas for improvement of how to allow this to become a reference point in the future.
Also present was the Vienna‑based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The FRA presented the processes for the preparation of the annual budget at the operational level and the impact of performance management. The goal was to see how budgetary preparation, the performance as well as the control and execution of approved funding link together. The participants were able to gain an inside view into the operational budgetary work of other EU bodies.
The last element of the meeting was a visit to the EU‑funded project “Come‑IN!” at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. This Interreg Central Europe project focusses on making museums more accessible for people with disabilities. The Budget Committee had the chance to participate in the ongoing annual conference and to interact with the key players implementing “Come‑IN!”.
The Austrian Presidency aimed to give delegations an insight into areas that usually fall short in discussion during the usual meetings of the working party. The Budget Committee is the working party to the Council of the EU which deals with all elements related to the EU general budget. It is responsible for the annual EU budget procedure, the adjustments to the budget for the current year, the annual discharge recommendation of the European Commission for the implementation of the budget and the legislative work in relation to the Financial Regulation of the European Union.