The European Commission calls for fiscal discipline still.

For the second consecutive year, Brussels urges Member States the utmost restraint.

Today, EU financial programming and budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski sent a letter to the heads of all EU institutions stating that numerous Member States are operating cuts in their administrative expenditure due to the current economic and financial crisis. “Therefore, adds Commissioner Lewandowski, it is of the utmost importance to continue to demonstrate that the EU institutions are acting responsibly in the current climate of austerity”.

The Commission wants to lead by example: in 2013, it intends to reduce the number of posts in its establishment plans by 1%, as the first step towards a 5% staff reduction over the next five years. This is in line with its proposal for the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) calling for a cut across all EU institutions.

In 2012, the Commission voluntarily froze its own administrative expenditure, i.e. a 0.0% nominal increase compared to the 2011 budget. This was achieved by significantly reducing expenditure linked to buildings, information and communication technology, studies, publications, missions, conferences and meetings.

- During the first months of each year the European Commission establishes the draft EU budget based on estimates of expenditure sent by all EU institutions.
- Article 314 of the Lisbon Treaty states that “the Commission shall consolidate these estimates in a draft budget which may contain different estimates”.
- Last February (2011), Commissioner Lewandowski issued a similar letter to the heads of all EU institutions urging them to cut expenditures in such areas as IT, publications, travel…
Administrative expenditure (functioning costs of the EU institutions) represents about 5.8% of the total EU budget.
- In 2012, the European Commission froze its administrative expenditure due to the current economic and financial crisis.
- Within the 5.8% of administrative expenditure the Commission’s share is about 40% as compared to other EU institutions. Therefore, the overall evolution of administrative expenditure depends also on budgetary requirements from other EU institutions.

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