Do not jeopardise future-oriented EU programmes, say EP’s budget negotiators

©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre

During the third round of talks on Friday, Parliament’s negotiators reiterated their key demands, based on a strong plenary mandate.

“We continue our trilateral talks with the German Council Presidency. It is positive to have seen eventually some movement from them today. There was progress on the principle of a binding roadmap for the three institutions on new sources of EU revenue (Own Resources) and on reinforcements of future-oriented EU programmes. We insist on real increases and that new Own Resources need to be sufficient to repay the Next Generation EU recovery plan”, said the members of the Parliament’s negotiating team on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Own Resources (OR)

“From the outset, Parliament has shown significant willingness to bridge the gap between our respective positions. We have, for example, scaled down our request for top-ups to EU programmes from 40+ programmes to 15 flagship programmes, in line with Parliament’s resolution of 23 July on the European Council agreement”, added the MEPs.

With the Council conclusions as they stand, EU flagship programmes like Horizon for research or Erasmus+ will see a drop in funding, meaning many research projects cannot be financed and millions of young people will not be able to benefit from life-changing opportunities and better employment. As for health, another example, with the envelope decided by the European Council, the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic would be in vain, as the EU4Health programme has been reduced to less than a fifth of its envelope proposed by the Commission.

Parliament set to clear way for swift launch of recovery plan

On a parallel track, Parliament is set to clear the way for a COVID-19 recovery plan with a plenary vote next week on the consultative opinion on the Own Resources Decision, which will enable the EU to borrow €750 billion for the “Next Generation EU” recovery plan. The vote will allow the Council to proceed with an immediate approval of this decision and start the ratification procedure in the member states.

The EP’s negotiating team for the next long-term EU budget and Own Resources reform

Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets

Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL), MFF co-rapporteur

Margarida Marques (S&D, PT), MFF co-rapporteur

José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), Own Resources co-rapporteur

Valérie Hayer (RENEW, FR), Own Resources co-rapporteur

Rasmus Andresen (Greens/EFA, DE)

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As the current long-term EU budget is running out on 31 December 2020, the EU needs a new budgetary planning horizon for the next seven years. The EU Commission thus presented plans for the next multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 in May 2018. The European Parliament adopted its position in November 2018, and re-confirmed it in October 2019 and July 2020. The European Council reached a political compromise on 21 July 2020. Trilateral negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission started on 27 August.

Parliament’s key demands are:

  1. Give a European response to the crisis.
  2. Preserve the EU’s capacity to invest besides and beyond the recovery – reinforcements of flagship programmes and an adequate MFF after 2024.
  3. Repayment of the common debt without burdening citizens and in line with the European Union’s political ambitions.
  4. Increased accountability to citizens in the budgetary decision-making process – a stronger role for the EP in how the recovery money is raised and spent.
  5. A strong mechanism to ensure respect for the Rule of Law.