Increased EU Budget for Biodiversity and More. Multiannual financial framework MFF expenditures

Biodiversity, organic farming, young farmers and other areas received a welcome financial boost from the EU institutions on Tuesday (10th November).… #eudebates #MFF #EUBudget and #Recoveryplan after the outbreak of COVID-19 #Agriculture #CAP The European Parliament’s negotiating team and the German Presidency of the Council reached agreement on the forthcoming Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s budget for 2021 – 2027.

According to the Council’s statement: ‘(The agreement) complements the comprehensive financial package of €1824.3 billion negotiated by EU leaders in July, which combines the next multiannual financial framework – €1 074.3 billion – and a €750 billion temporary recovery instrument, Next Generation EU in 2018 prices.’

The Next Generation EU recovery fund is a dedicated borrowing mechanism the EU has initiated for covid-19 recovery. The Union intends to borrow up to E750 Billion, which means EU countries will not have to contribute additional money from their national budgets.

The Parliament describes the outcome of the negotiations as a ‘compromise’ in which it ‘obtained €16 billion on top of the package agreed by heads of state or government at their summit in July. €15 billion will reinforce flagship programmes to protect citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic, provide opportunities to the next generation, and preserve European values. €1 billion will increase flexibility to address future needs and crises.’

Additional funds are also to be drawn from competition fines paid when companies do not comply with EU rules, and mean that support for EU4Health (the EU’s covid response) has tripled while Erasmus+ and other research is also better funded.

The deal contains some good news with the European Parliament announcing that from 2024, 7.5% of the annual EU budget will be spent on biodiversity and from 2026, this biodiversity expenditure will rise to 10%. Improved climate and biodiversity tracking methodologies will be implemented in order to ensure that a minimum of 30% of the total EU budget and Next Generation EU expenditures will support climate objectives.

According to Rasmus Andresen, the Greens / EFA group MEP who was one of the Parliament’s negotiators,

‘The European Parliament fought successfully for a biodiversity spending target, which will be implemented after the European institutions have worked in close cooperation on a biodiversity methodology in the coming years. We have just a few years to solve the climate crisis and save nature. The agreement is a start towards a European climate budget.’

Ariel Brunner of Birdlife Europe highlighted the significance of a legally binding commitment to biodiversity expenditure:

According to the Parliament’s statement, its top priority in the negotiations was ‘to secure an increase for flagship programmes that were at risk of being underfinanced under the European Council’s July 2020 agreement, jeopardising the EU’s commitments and priorities, notably the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda’.

The agreement on November 10 was reached following what the Council describes as ‘intensive consultations with the Parliament and the Commission that have been underway since the end of August’. Now, the deal will be submitted along with the other elements of the next MFF and recovery package to Member States for endorsement.