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Summaries of EU legislation

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The EU adopts an annual budget to cover spending on, for instance, poorer regions, infrastructure, R&D, agriculture and fisheries, as well as its administration costs. The budget represents around 1% of the wealth generated annually by member countries.

76% of budget spending is delegated to member countries. The rest goes to international or intergovernmental agencies, or is managed centrally by the EU. The Court of Auditors and the European Parliament scrutinise the previous year's spending through the discharge procedure.

The budget is made up of contributions from member countries (based on their gross national income), customs duties and a proportion of VAT receipts from each country.

The EU's multiannual financial framework (2014-2020) sets a ceiling for each category of spending which must be respected when agreeing annual budgets.