The EU budget is examined in this chapter. The chapter begins by showing that although the budget is large in absolute terms, it is not so when set in the context of total EU wealth or total public expenditure in the EU. The next two sections examine the EU’s two main budgetary mechanisms: multiannual financial frameworks (MFFs), which are seven-year programmes that translate policy priorities into maximum annual spending amounts over the period of the frameworks; and annual budgets, which are set within the context of the MFF applying and which detail EU resources and expenditure in particular years. Despite the considerable attention it has received over the years and despite the political tensions it has often generated, the EU’s budget is relatively small in size.
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