EC Communication calls on Member States to agree on MFF by end of 2019
The European Commission has published a Communication calling on the EU Heads of State or Government to "provide political guidance and new impetus to the negotiations" on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, in order to reach an agreement before the end of this year. The Communication was issued on 9 October 2019, ahead of the European Council meeting on 17 and 18 October 2019 and calls for "an agreement on a fair, balanced and modern long-term EU budget".
In this Communication, the European Commission outlines the main points from the Commission's point of view:
- the overall level of funding to match the Union's shared priorities;
- a modern budget with the right balance between policies and a strong focus on EU added value;
- a more transparent approach to financing the EU budget and the introduction of new sources of revenue to support priorities and reduce the burden on national contributions; and
- a greater policy coherence, through a closer link between funding and policy priorities and through stronger tools for protecting the EU budget from rule of law deficiencies
The Commission proposal on the MFF of spring 2018 includes the legislative proposals for the 37 sectoral programmes, including the research Framework Programme Horizon Europe. According to the EC, progress has already been made on the overall framework and on many of the sectoral proposals, but more work and strategic guidance by the leaders are needed in order for the new programmes to be launched on time on 1 January 2021.
The EC points out that the budget it has proposed is therefore already smaller compared to the current one, adding that if the EU budget is reduced further, this would make it difficult for the Union to deliver on its priorities and to provide support to its farmers, students, researchers, and numerous other beneficiaries of the EU budget. The system of rebates granted to various Member States should be addressed, and the EC is also looking for possible sources of revenue, e.g. from the Emissions Trading System or contributions based on non-recycled plastic.
With regard to funding for different policy areas, the EC emphasises, amongst other issues, that more money should go to key policy areas such as research and innovation, student mobility, climate action, migration, border management and security, digitalisation, as well as defence and the Union's external action.
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