Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Statement on the 1998 Community Budget European Community Finances [April 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 22 April 1998.

The Government today published its Annual Statement on the Community Budget, entitled “European Community Finances”. The  Statement gives details of the 1998 Community Budget, including:

  • total payment appropriations of 83,529 million ecu (55,693 million Pounds), 1.4% higher than 1997, and 1.14 % of Community GNP (well within the Own Resources ceiling of 1.26%);
  • total commitments of 91,013 million ecu (60,683 million Pounds), 2.1% above 1997; and
  • information about the UK’s contributions to, and receipts from, the Community Budget.

Economic Secretary Helen Liddell announced publication in reply to a Parliamentary Question from Jackie Lawrence (Preseli Pembrokeshire). The full text of her reply is attached. Commenting on the announcement, Mrs Liddell said :

“The Statement provides a useful guide to the breakdown of expenditure and sources of revenue in the 1998 Community Budget, along with details of the UK’s contributions to, and receipts from, the Budget.

“As the Statement shows, the very small overall increase in expenditure over 1997 demonstrates the Council’s determination to apply the same budgetary rigour to the Community Budget as is being applied at Member State level. The UK is using its Presidency to seek to ensure a similarly rigorous approach during the 1999 Budget negotiations”.

As in previous years, the Statement outlines the key developments in EC financial management and measures to counter fraud including:

  • the European Court of Auditors’ Annual Report for 1996 and Statement of Assurance, published on 18 November 1997;
  • the Council’s recommendation to the European Parliament on the discharge to be given to the Commission for its implementation of the 1996 budget. The recommendation, which the Council drew up under the UK Presidency, is based on the findings in the European Court of Auditors’ Annual Report.  The recommendation to grant discharge is accompanied by an in-depth commentary, which emphasises the need to learn lessons for the future from the Report and to focus not only on whether monies are properly accounted for, but on setting clear aims for expenditure and ensuring these are achieved as effectively as possible.
  • details of progress on the major areas of work under the Commission’s Sound and Efficient Management 2000 Programme.