MEPs gave final approval yesterday (12 December) to a €132.8 billion budget for 2013, paving the way for future talks on the long-term budget early next year.


"We have managed to avoid a budgetary crisis on top of the economic crisis," Swedish Socialist MEP Göran Färm said in a statement.

Centre-right MEP Alain Lamassoure hailed the vote as a great success for the European Parliament, which he said is satisfied with the amount.

Under the deal, EU payments next year will be limited to €132.84 billion, which represents a just-above-inflation rise of 2.9% from the original budget agreed for this year.

The Parliament also approved an extra €6 billion in spending for 2012 to bridge a spending gap in research, education and employment programmes. It means total EU spending of €135 billion for 2012, which amounts roughly 1% of the EU's GDP.

The vote paves the way to talks on the EU's long term spending plans. EU leaders were unable to reach a compromise last month on a proposed budget of around €1 trillion for 2014-2020.

EU leaders will hold further talks, possibly in February, to try to agree on the bloc's long-term funding.

The Commission will present a budget adjustment in mid-2013 because the approval budget is not enough to fulfil all the commitments agreed.