The European Union may not have been facing a fiscal cliff, but it had crucial budget decisions to make, too, and EU law makers gave final approval for that budget on Wednesday. The new budget amounts to around 133 billion euros for 2013, though it does not extend to 2020, so some uncertainty still lingers over the future.
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The budget faced disagreements last month that left the 2014-2020 budget of nearly 1 trillion euros undecided. The budget for 2013 will also free up 6 billion euros to spend on research, education, and employment programs this year, giving 2012 the EU’s largest budget yet. Under the new budget, EU payments will be limited to a maximum of the agreed-upon 132.84 billion euros.
Typically, some three-quarters of the EU budget goes to farm subsidies — France is the largest beneficiary of these and also part of the reason behind prior failed budget agreements — and to public infrastructure development in the eastern and southern EU member nations.
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