MEPs put pressure on Council for the EU's long-term budget

Lawmakers insist next MFF should be set at 1.3% of EU27 gross national income

Photo: EP Jan Olbrycht

To push Council to advance with the negotiations on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) that will fund the EU policies in the period 2021-2027, MEPs adopted a resolution at their mini-plenary sitting in Brussels on 10 October. In it, they asked national governments to urgently agree a negotiating position on the EU long-term budget and warned of a real jeopardy that the common investment plan for the next seven years will not be endorsed in time with Council, alerting on what the consequences will be for the businesses and citizens

The time pressure is important but not the only reason for the resolution, as lawmakers are also very concerned about the budget's overall size. Some Member States remain adamant in insisting for a slimmer common wallet.

The EU executive suggested a long-term budget made by 1.114% of EU27 gross national income (GNI). Compared to the current MFF the investment is 1.16% of EU27 GNI, plus the European Development Fund, which means the proposed budget is already thinner compared to the current one covering 2014-2020.

In the resolution, the Parliament reiterated that the next MFF should be set at 1.3% of EU27 GNI in order to meet climate change and other challenges. Only this figure will allow continuation with the support of cohesion policy and CAP, innovation and investment, migration policy, foreign and defence policy.

The EP has been ready to negotiate since November last year. In the new document they adjust their position to step up climate protection, stressing the “urgent need for another quantum leap in political and financial efforts” to achieve the Paris agreements' objectives.

The deputies urged the Commission to clarify how political promises, made by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen in July, will financially impact the EU's next long-term budget.

The EU executive should present a contingency plan, because they see a clear risk that the complex negotiations to be held between Parliament and Council will not be finalised successfully by the end of 2020.

“There will be no agreement on the next MFF without new EU own resources,” said Jan Olbrycht and Jose Manuel Fernandes, MEPs from EPP Group, who negotiate the long-term EU budget on behalf of the EP.

“Universities and enterprises are waiting for a decision concerning the budget. The Parliament is ready to negotiate with the governments. We approved this Resolution, where we confirm our position. Now, we want the governments of the Member States to take a decision,” Olbrycht added.

Eider Gardiazabal, S&D spokeswoman on budget, pointed out that there is a need to put pressure on the Council so that negotiations between the two institutions start as soon as possible. However, we will not accept a budget that fails to deliver on issues that are important for citizens, she emphasised.

Her colleague Margarida Marques, S&D Group rapporteur on the MFF, added that additional financial means must be identified to valorise priorities, such as migration and external action. We need additional sources of funding. Successful programmes in areas such as youth, research and innovation, investment, climate transition, digitalisation and social rights must receive adequate funding, fit for the current needs of the citizens, she said.

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