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28 May 2020

EP broadly welcomes EC's recovery package proposal

Following the presentation of the € 750 billion proposal for recovery from the Corona crisis on 27 May 2020, the leaders of the European Parliament's (EP's) political groups welcomed the EC's proposal as an important element for an efficient recovery. However, the EP negotiating team for the MFF states that the recovery strategy should not be financed at the expense of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), as a weakened EU budget after the recovery phase could prevent the EU from investing in the future, e.g. climate and digital transitions. The EP's negotiating team also called for starting negotiations on the MFF with the Council without delay.

The negotiators called the Commission proposals "an important step", but expressed their regret that the Commission has reduced its original MFF proposal. Parliament shares the view that the recovery plan will be channelled through the MFF and must be embedded in a reformed system of own resources. However, the EP claims it would be self-defeating to trade the long-term against the short-term: the recovery strategy should not be financed at the expense of the core MFF and its wider objectives, which the COVID-19 outbreak has made more relevant than ever. Furthermore, according to the EP, any new budgetary tool must ensure Parliament’s participation and the community method to boost democratic oversight, transparency and accountability. The EP also expressed its concern about future debt and the way it will be repaid in the future.

Failing an agreement before the end of the year, 2020 ceilings would be automatically extended. The EP points out that this is why Parliament has formally requested that the Commission present an MFF contingency plan in order to eliminate any risk of discontinuity or disorderly extension, as from the EP's point of view, a contingency plan based on 2020 ceilings could provide a better basis for the European Union’s recovery than a late and inadequate MFF.

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