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The EU budget in motion

The EU budget is the tool that allows the EU to deliver on its policy priorities and invest in large-scale projects that EU countries could not finance on their own – either because of the projects’ size or their cross-border nature. By pooling resources, standing together against common challenges and helping all EU countries, their citizens and beyond, the EU budget creates value added, strengthens Europe’s economy and geopolitical standing.  

The EU budget helps create jobs, supports projects that improve our health, education, transport and energy infrastructure, builds EU supercomputer capacity and energy links, improves the security of our borders and helps combat climate change, while promoting the digital transition of our societies. And these are just a few examples!

In recent years, the EU budget has become an even stronger expression of EU solidarity by serving as the EU’s main crisis response tool. It is helping address the biggest challenges for the EU, including the coronavirus pandemic to the war in Ukraine, addressing climate change and building Europe’s strategic autonomy and ensuring the continent’s energy independence.

The EU budget

In the past

The history of the EU budget is closely linked to the history of the European Union. While the EU (and its predecessors) have always had resources at their disposal, the long-term EU budget (or MFF) that we know today has only been around since 1988.


The current EU budget is over €2.0 trillion, contributing to building a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe. In June 2023, the Commission proposed to reinforce it to ensure it can continue to face the most urgent challenges.

Future of EU budget

The EU budget has gradually evolved in step with the European integration process, in terms of size, policy priorities, sources of revenue and duration – and it continues evolving to this day!

What Drives Output Volatility? The Role of Demographics and Government Size Revisited.
In focus: EU budget delivers

How is the EU budget helping to achieve EU priorities and respond to crises?

To engage with stakeholders on the present and future of the EU budget, the Commission's budget department organises different events. This includes our flagship Annual EU Budget Conference, which takes place once a year, our regular EU Budget Talks, which occur several times a year, and other events.

To encourage the debate surrounding the EU budget, the European Commission is publishing different publications such as the EU budget policy briefs – a series of reflection papers by DG BUDG staff. These publications explore different aspects of the EU budget and examine current trends in budgetary policy.

An overview of the three types of legal acts that regulate the EU budget: treaties, legislation (regulations and decisions), and agreements between the EU institutions.