General Affairs Council, 18/09/2018

Main results

Next multiannual financial framework

The Council held a policy debate on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027.

Ministers set out their priorities for the negotiations, including their views on:

  • how the EU policy priorities and European added value are reflected in the MFF proposal
  • the proposed allocation of funds to different policy areas 

The EU’s multiannual financial framework represents an opportunity to make strategic choices for the future. It is about matching the EU’s budget to our political priorities and bringing added value with EU spending. Our debate today, which focused on these essential questions, will therefore help lay foundations for our future discussions. The Austrian presidency is planning intensive work at technical and political level in order to advance as much as possible and facilitate a future agreement between the member states.

Gernot Blümel, Austrian Federal Minister for the EU, Art, Culture and Media

Legislative programming

Following President Juncker’s speech on the state of the European Union, the Council discussed the Commission’s priorities and intentions for its work programme for 2019. The input from ministers will help the Commission finalise its work programme.

The Council also took stock of the situation regarding pending legislative proposals in view of the end of the EP’s legislative term in 2019.

As we are approaching the European Parliament elections, the Presidency is committed to achieve progress and bring as many files as possible to a conclusion. In addition to our annual exchange on next year’s priorities, ministers therefore took stock of what we currently have on the table.

Gernot Blümel, Austrian Federal Minister for the EU, Art, Culture and Media

October European Council

Ministers began preparations for the October European Council by examining an annotated draft agenda.

At their meeting on 18 October, EU leaders are expected to:

  • return to the issue of migration; there will be a report on progress, as agreed in the June European Council conclusions
  • adopt conclusions on internal security, following the Leaders’ thematic debate in Salzburg
  • in the light of events, address specific foreign policy issues

Rule of law in Poland

The Council held a hearing under Article 7(1) TEU on the rule of law in Poland.

The modalities for the hearing were the same as for the session at the meeting of the General Affairs Council on 26 June 2018.

Ministers continued their in-depth exchange with Poland on the concerns identified in the Commission’s reasoned proposal.

The Council will return to this issue.

Presidency programme 

The Austrian presidency presented its priorities for the duration of its term of office ending on 31 December 2018.