Commission President and EP discuss MFF prior to European Council meeting
At its plenary meeting on 12 February 2020, the European Parliament, the Croatian Council Presidency represented by Nikolina Brnjac, Croatian State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs, and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen discussed the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The plenary debate was held in view of the upcoming extraordinary meeting of the European Council on the MFF on 20 February 2020.
Most MEPs insisted that sufficient funding is key to achieve common ambitions such as fighting climate change, the digital and ecological transformation, dealing with the social consequences of the latter, and continuing to support regions and cities, farmers, young people, researchers or entrepreneurs.
President von der Leyen stressed that all parties concerned would need to "find the right balance between old and new priorities", in order to make Europe fit for the future. The President cautioned against losing any more time, saying that “If no budget is agreed soon, then next year we will not be able to fund the fight against climate change, to support research and innovation or to support our cohesion policies”. She said Europe needed a budget that "delivers", particularly on common European concerns and tasks, such as research programmes, Erasmus, defence investments or migration funds, and above all in order to act on climate change. Implementing the Green Deal with a reduced budget, for example, would mean cutting successful EU programmes elsewhere, MEPs highlighted.
European leaders will meet in Brussels on 20 February for a special meeting called by the President of the European Council Charles Michel, aiming to reach an agreement on the MFF.
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