MEPs update the offer on future EU financing

Parliament, Council talked on rule of law conditionality

Photo: EP Johan Van Overtveldt.

At the informal meeting on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Own Resources (OR) between Parliament and Council, held on Wednesday, Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Budgets Committee, on behalf of the MFF/Own Resources negotiating team, presented an updated offer towards a compromise in the talks on future EU financing.

Let me state again very clearly that Parliament is not interested in budgetary tricks that would kick the can down the road to future annual budgetary procedures, wrote Johan Van Overtveldt to the German Presidency of the Council ahead of the meeting. In it, he explained that agreeing on top-ups means agreeing now on higher seven-year envelopes (“reference amounts”) for the flagship programmes, to be effective as of 2021 and serve as a baseline for the development of the policies for seven years.

We owe it to our citizens, youth, researchers, health workers and companies, and at the same time, we also consider it essential to secure higher unallocated margins and flexibilities to address new tasks and unforeseen needs in the years to come, the Budgets Committee chair stressed, adding that “one does not replace the other”.

The EP negotiators asked for an additional €39bn. During his speech at the European Council on Thursday, EP President David Sassoli underscored that this is “a paltry sum when set against an overall package worth €1.8tn, but one which would make an enormous difference to the citizens who will benefit from our common policies”. Sassoli also said that MEPs have put forward creative proposals to finance this €39bn. In order to do this, we need an increase in the spending ceiling of €9bn to reach exactly the same level of spending as in the 2014-2020 period in real terms, he specified.

The EP president told the leaders that at present the negotiations are stalled. “You have it in your hands to get them moving again. If progress is to be made, the negotiating mandate issued to the German Presidency needs to be updated,” President Sassoli pointed out.

After the first trilogue on the other sensitive topic concerning the EU's long-term budget that took place on Monday - rule of law conditionality, the Council and Parliament positions are still far apart from each other.

This was said immediately after conclusion of the first round of informal legislative negotiations with the Council by EP co-rapporteurs on the rule of law conditionality mechanism Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI) and Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES).

Despite constructive first round of talks, however, the positions of Council and Parliament remain far apart from each other, with Parliament insisting on mechanism that can be applicable in practice, the rapporteurs emphasised.


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