EP calls for safety net for EU budget beneficiaries
On 13 May 2020, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a legislative resolution requesting the European Commission (EC) to submit a proposal for an MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) contingency plan by 15 June 2020. The resolution was adopted by 616 votes in favour, 29 against and 46 abstentions. The EP points out that while current budgetary ceilings would be automatically extended if no new MFF is in place next year, nonetheless many programmes will expire at the end of 2020. These include, amongst others, the Research Framework Programme and the Erasmus programme. The EP therefore calls for a safety net for beneficiaries from the EU programmes, and for ruling out any risk of the current MFF and programmes being discontinued or extended in a disorderly way. MEPs say the plan should refocus the budget temporarily on addressing and mitigating the immediate economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and on helping in the recovery by adding flexibility and funding, as was already done under this year’s budget.
On 17 April 2020, the EP had already called for a massive recovery and reconstruction package that involves increasing the MFF. However, with its most recent resolution, the EP says it wants to ensure that a better basis than a late or inadequate MFF is provided for the European Union’s recovery and political priorities. The EC now has to either submit a relevant proposal, or else must inform Parliament of the reasons why it will not do so.
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