The Negotiations on the EU Budget: Past, Present and Future

Ilkka Saarilahti, Luis Pascual Herce

Research output: Working paperScientific


This paper analyses recent negotiation processes on the European Union (EU) budget, including the processes followed to reach an agreement on the level of budget appropriations and the main factors contributing to a timely completion of the procedures, in order to identify a set of potential negotiating patterns. The paper intends as well to shed light into the question of whether the negotiating dynamics and drivers present in latest budgetary procedures could be extrapolated to forthcoming budgetary negotiations.

The EU budget is used as a policy tool to modulate the response of the Union to various challenges, including those arising from an increasingly turbulent environment. Although the conditions and constraints of the budgetary negotiations of the EU vary from year to year and a smooth adoption of the budget cannot be taken for granted, historical records show that the key actors manage to reach budget deals despite their diverging positions and mostly in a timely manner.

At the same time, despite the existence of well-established procedures and institutional roles, the use of the EU budget in combination with other sources of financing, the creation of new structures and instruments in order to cope with various crisis and especially the migration crisis, or the ongoing modernisation work of the EU budget in the context of the mid-term review and of the forthcoming negotiations on the next multiannual financial framework could affect in an important manner the way in which the EU budget will be negotiated in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusUnpublished - Mar 2017
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Bibliographical note

Harvard Kennedy School of Government (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science
  • 511 Economics
  • 513 Law

Cite this