On 14 March MEPs adopted Parliament’s official negotiating position for the EU’s next long-term budget starting in 2021.
MEPs adopted a report by Polish EPP member Jan Olbrycht and French S&D member Isabelle Thomas, which calls for the EU to continue its support for the common agricultural and fisheries policies as well as aid for poorer regions.
However, the report also underlines that the next long-term budget, also known as the Multiannual Financial Framework, should significantly increase funding for research, the popular Erasmus+ programme, the fight against youth unemployment, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We agreed that we need new priorities: research, innovation, digitalisation," said Olbrycht, adding that existing priorities remained important.
Financing future budgets
The next long-term budget is due to start after 2020 and run over a period of at least five years. This will be the first one after the UK withdrawing from the EU. Thomas said this would have "important consequences" as it will mean €14 billion less will be available.
Parliament also has proposals on how the EU budget should be financed in the future. During the plenary session MEPs will also vote on a report by Belgian ALDE member Gérard Deprez and Polish EPP member Janusz Lewandowski (EPP, Poland) proposing a reform of how the EU is funded, by creating new opportunities for it to raise its own funding. These could include a corporate income tax, environmental taxes, a financial transaction tax at the European level and a special taxation of companies in the digital sector.
A large majority of Europe want to the EU to do more to tackle challenges such as terrorism (80%), unemployment (78%), the environment (75%) and tax fraud (74%), according to the latest Eurobarometer survey from 2017.
To meet these expectations, MEPs want to increase the EU’s budget from about 1% of the gross national income to 1.3%. In addition they also want to create new sources of revenue for the EU to reduce its reliance on member states' contributions.
Commission President Jean-Claude Junckeris is expected to present his institution's proposals in Parliament on 2 May, hoping to reach an agreement within 12 months.
- In addition to the annual budget, the EU sets a long-term budget for a period of at least five years.
- The current budget, covering 2014-2020, amounts to €963.5 billion.
- In recent years MEPs have fought to make the budget more flexible in order to better deal with unexpected crises