Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) evolution

19-12-2011

The next EU MFF should start in 2014 and last for seven years (to 2020), with total proposed expenditure of just over €1 trillion. Since the MFF fixes the maximum expenditure and indicates the appropriations (commit­ment and payment) by major activity area, it is a significant political statement of where the EU's budgetary resources will be concentrated over that seven-year period. There is a tendency towards a continuation of the existing MFF structure because of the difficulties of obtaining sufficient support for change from Member States. However, some major funding differences are noted between the existing 2007-13 MFF and the current European Commission (EC) proposal. Funds allocated to ""competitiveness"" should see the biggest single increase (+€37 billion or +48%), while ""infrastructure"" would grow by 210% (€27 billion). Other areas of major chan­ges in the proposal are ""Global Europe"" (+€13 billion +23%) and a reduction of agricultural payments of €40 billion (-13%).   Over 20 years after its introduction, and with a very different EU, the MFF structure has chan­ged little. Criticisms include a lack of flexibility in being able to make budget transfers be­tween programmes and to reflect new needs, and seven years being too long a dura­tion. These limits are particularly relevant in new and changing circumstances.   Its not running concurrently for five years with the EP's and Commission's mandates is also noted. 

The next EU MFF should start in 2014 and last for seven years (to 2020), with total proposed expenditure of just over €1 trillion. Since the MFF fixes the maximum expenditure and indicates the appropriations (commit­ment and payment) by major activity area, it is a significant political statement of where the EU's budgetary resources will be concentrated over that seven-year period. There is a tendency towards a continuation of the existing MFF structure because of the difficulties of obtaining sufficient support for change from Member States. However, some major funding differences are noted between the existing 2007-13 MFF and the current European Commission (EC) proposal. Funds allocated to ""competitiveness"" should see the biggest single increase (+€37 billion or +48%), while ""infrastructure"" would grow by 210% (€27 billion). Other areas of major chan­ges in the proposal are ""Global Europe"" (+€13 billion +23%) and a reduction of agricultural payments of €40 billion (-13%).   Over 20 years after its introduction, and with a very different EU, the MFF structure has chan­ged little. Criticisms include a lack of flexibility in being able to make budget transfers be­tween programmes and to reflect new needs, and seven years being too long a dura­tion. These limits are particularly relevant in new and changing circumstances.   Its not running concurrently for five years with the EP's and Commission's mandates is also noted.