The budget proposal for the European Union for the 2021-2027 period foresees a Europe that will need to invest more in young people to cut off populism at its roots, and one that will need to patrol its borders to control migrant flows that EU countries are struggling to manage.
The first post-Brexit budget also reflects a philosophy in which the EU must help the countries that respect the Union's common laws (on migrants and the economy) and penalize those countries that do not.
Migrant spending more than doubled
The budget proposal brings total spending to 1.279 billion euros from the one billion of the former budget, despite the fact that the EU must make up for an annual 15-billion-euro loss due to the absence of the United Kingdom. Many governments have already rejected the expected increased effort.
Brussels wanted to present its proposal ahead of schedule (an agreement isn't needed until the end of 2019) to start talks as soon as possible, given that negotiations are always the biggest challenge to overcome. The European Commission also had to revise the EU's priorities, which have in some cases changed radically in recent years. One example is in spending on migrants, which the budget proposal more than doubles.
Other examples include financing the EU's common defence project (with 20 billion euros allocated to a brand-new fund), fighting youth unemployment (with the Erasmus budget doubled), providing for security, and pushing the digital economy and research in order to be competitive on a global scale, with a total spending increase of 109 billion euros in these sectors.