1 Billion Facility was approved by the European Parliament

Agreement has finally been reached on the outline of the European Union’s budget for 2009 with €1 billion in farm aid for the developing world. It came after 9 hours of negotiations between MEPs on the Budgets Committee and European governments last Friday, 21 November.

The farm aid was proposed by the European Commission last July in response to spiralling prices for agricultural products in the developing world.

The budget for next year amounts to €116.1 in payments or 0.894% of the Union’s Gross National Income. It covers things such as farm subsidies, rural development money and funding for scientific research.

In the negotiations MEPs successfully pressed the Commission to carry over an amount of up to €700 million of unspent rural development funding from 2008 to 2009.

The food aid – or “food facility” in Commission jargon – is expected to cover the period 2008-2010.

On 18 December when they hold their next session in Strasbourg MEPs are expected to endorse the compromise and finally adopt the budget for 2009.

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