From the European Commission - Fact Sheet titled European Agenda on Migration: Securing Europe's External Borders and dated 15 December 2015, we see the sentence

Today's proposals will entail a gradual increase of the Agency budget from the €143 million originally planned for 2015 up to €238 million in 2016 to €281 million in 2017, reaching€322 [sic] million in 2020 when all additional staff will be recruited.

This statement is in regard to the budget of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).

  1. Is it normal for the EU to pre-plan budgets for its agencies up to 5 years in advance?

  2. How was the decision of €322 reached?

  3. Is the EU consistent in actually allocating a future budget at the future date based on earlier decisions? (i.e. Is Frontex likely to have a €322 budget in FY 2020.)

  • 2
    @DenisdeBernardy that appears to be about the annual cycle. The long term structure is imposed by the (7-year) Multiannual Financial Framework, the current one expiring in 2020 ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/…
    – origimbo
    Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 14:35
  • @origimbo: it's about the entire thing. "A decision on commitments creates an entitlement to payments, but only if certain conditions are fulfilled. This approach ensures strong budgetary control. Commitments are spread relatively evenly over a given long-term budget duration (usually seven years) to allow project contracts to be signed." Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 16:22
  • 1
    @J.Doe: yes. 2 is based on customs revenue collection, whatever the member states wish to contribute, and however the EC plans to spend that money. And regarding 3, I would assume yes -- the EU is very technocratic in this respect. Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 16:55
  • 1
    @J.Doe: The answers to those two basically break down to what the EU resources are (customs revenue, contributions, etc.) and how it decides to spend it. There's no research needed here, it's basically a statement of fact: "Here's your allowance [based on treaties and what we're ok with spending], and here's what you can do with it [based on treaties]." Point 3 is also related to the fact that the EU is technocratic in spirit and in form -- look up the definition of technocratic if that isn't enough to convince you. Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The first part of article 312 from the Treaty of Lisbon (available here as the Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union on page 136) states:

  1. The multiannual financial framework shall ensure that Union expenditure develops in an orderly manner and within the limits of its own resources.

    It shall be established for a period of at least five years.

    The annual budget of the Union shall comply with the multiannual financial framework.

Thus, it is normal (and required) for the EU to pre-plan budgets for its agencies up to 5 years in advance.

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