Outstanding budgetary commitments stood at €267.3bn in 2017, a new record for the EU. This value is going to weigh on future budgetary implementation plans.
The unpaid budgetary commitments set by the European Union in several programmes have reached a record high of €267.3bn in 2017. The European Court of Auditors warned that this could affect budgetary implementation in the future, putting high pressure on the EU budget.
These commitments, or budgetary authorizations, represent money which is available for certain projects inserted in the Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and other programmes, and “they have generated a considerably high amount of unpaid commitments which can represent great financial constraints in the future”, João Figueiredo, an advisor from the ECA, stated. The European institution recommends a better assessment and management of the accumulation risks.
Using available resources from European Structural and Investment (ESI) funds is still proving challenging for Member States, and the EU budget continues to face significant pressure owing to the value of payments to which the EU has committed in future years.
From the amount which was authorized, €158.7bn were allocated, representing 99.3% of the total. However, the processed payments reached €124.7bn. The European Budget is built based on these two variables: the commitments (generally represent a higher value) and the processed payments (the value which is actually spent). For instance, for the next long-term EU Budget 2021-2027, the European Commission is proposing a €373bn commitment value in Cohesion Policy.
“Using available resources from European Structural and Investment (ESI) funds is still proving challenging for Member States, and the EU budget continues to face significant pressure owing to the value of payments to which the EU has committed in future years”, the report shows.
By the end of 2017, Portugal’s had outstanding commitment stood at about €8.8bn, which represents around 9.96% of one year of expenses in the Public Administration. The country which showed a greater gap was Poland, with used funds reaching around €5.8bn, whereas the unused funds, or outstanding commitments, stood at around €33bn.