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Attacks and Refugee Crisis Spur EU Budget

(CN) - The EU Council unanimously passed a $318.5 billion budget Tuesday that beefs up counterterrorism spending in the wake of the Paris attacks and includes $4 billion to help member states with the refugee crisis.

Lawmakers delivered Tuesday's budget - which includes $165 billion in future commitments and $153.5 billion in actual spending - weeks ahead of schedule, citing the need for immediate action to combat terrorism after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 and injured at least 350.

Under the budget, member states and third nations at the forefront of the refugee crisis will receive over $4 billion to cope with the problems they face. Lawmakers also "significantly increased" resources to fight and protect against terrorism, and bolstered spending to better manage the EU's external borders.

Following an agreement between the council, parliament and the European Commission in 2013 to reduce their respective staffs by 5 percent, the budget deal also includes an agreement from the parliament to lay off 197 of its workers between now and 2019.

The European Parliament must now approve the budget, which it is expected to do on Wednesday.

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