EU countries ignored Parliament's call for a growth-boosting long-term budget for 2014-2020 when they agreed on 8 February 2013 to cut the budget from its previous level for the first time in the EU's history. MEPs rejected that agreement in its current form on 13 March and called for the so-called multiannual financial framework (MFF) to be more flexible and open to revision. They also insisted on a real system of own resources for the EU.
EP president Martin Schulz said following the vote: "Parliament cannot accept the proposal from the member states without the fulfilment of certain essential conditions. There must be maximum overall flexibility and an ambitious agreement on own resources."
Before Parliament will even start negotiations with member states, MEPs want the assurance that deficits for 2012 and 2013 are covered so that the new budget cycle starts without any funding gaps.
Our feature gives an overview of developments since talks on the long-term budget began back in 2011. Check back regularly to keep up to date with the latest developments on the 2014–2020 budget.