(Brussels) Once the green light is given by the European Parliament (during next week’s plenary in Strasbourg) and the Council, the EU budget for 2019 will be finally approved and will become operational. The agreement, reached by the two budgetary authorities of the EU (the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers), comes after long negotiations over the past few months, following the Commission’s submission of a draft budget. The budget for next year is set at €165.8 billion in commitments (money that can be agreed in contracts in a given year) and €148.2 billion in payment credits (money that will be paid out). Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, in charge of the Budget, said today: “This agreement is a sign that when we stand together, we can deliver the added value that our citizens ask for. The next objective is our long-term budget beyond 2020, and I hope that the constructive spirit and the strong involvement of all three institutions in the negotiations for the 2019 budget will be maintained in these discussions. We should focus on its timely adoption so our scientists, students, businesses, farmers and regions do not lose out”. The EU funds will be invested in growth and employment, security, education and research.