Sassoli on next MFF: We now have the chance to design a new Europe

Parliament has to take this opportunity to reform the revenue side of the EU budget

Photo: EP David Sassoli.

The most pressing task now for the EU lawmakers is to assess quickly the Commission's revised proposal for the next EU long-term budget and the recovery plan as a whole, and to vote on its position as soon as possible. On this occasion, on Tuesday, EP President David Sassoli met via videoconference with the Parliament's Contact Group on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) to discuss the upcoming talks on the new long-term budget.

Commenting afterwards, President Sassoli said the EP welcomes the Commission's proposals and stands ready to work to further improve them in the next weeks. He also stressed that for the MEPs is clear that there is no going back from the level of ambition expressed in the Commission package.

According to him, as the only directly elected body representing EU citizens, the European Parliament must be fully involved in the implementation of the recovery plan. We will set priorities so that support is directed where it is needed most and will have the biggest impact for European citizens, the EP President asserted.

“We have to make sure that we do not leave a burden to the next generations. We now have the chance to design a new Europe, one that is more equal, greener and ready for the future. In order to fulfil these ambitions, we need the adequate means,” President Sassoli specified.

He also accented that the Parliament has to take this opportunity to reform the revenue side of the EU budget, explaining as well that the EP introduction of new own resources remains a prerequisite to an agreement on the MFF. We still need more clarity from the Commission on this aspect, he warned.

The whole of Europe is affected by the current crisis and now is the moment to build a sustainable future, the EP President also stressed.

In a resolution adopted by the MEPs on 15 May, they insisted that the new recovery and transformation fund must be €2tn in size, and should be financed “through the issuance of long-dated recovery bonds” and be “disbursed through loans and, mostly, through grants, direct payments for investment and equity”.

When EC President Ursula von der Leyen presented the Commission's proposal at the hemicycle on 27 May, the first reaction of the majority of the MEPs was to welcome the refashioned Multiannual Financial Framework and the new Recovery plan. In terms of their financial red lines, the proposal even exceeded to some extent their expectations.

What the Commission put on the table was a package of €1.85tn made up of €1.1tn from the MFF and €750bn from the new instrument Next Generation EU, of which two-thirds will be distributed as grants and one-third - as loans. Together with the already endorsed €540bn for three safety nets, the total sum increases to €2.4tn.

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