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Financing EU security and defence: Heading 5 of the 2021-2027 MFF

23-01-2020

For the new 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), the European Commission proposes to dedicate a separate heading to security and defence – Heading 5. Although the European Union (EU) has already financed action linked to security and defence, this is the first time that this policy area has been so visibly underlined in the EU budget structure. With an allocation of €24 323 million (in 2018 prices), Heading 5 is the smallest of the seven MFF headings and represents 2.1 % of the total ...

For the new 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), the European Commission proposes to dedicate a separate heading to security and defence – Heading 5. Although the European Union (EU) has already financed action linked to security and defence, this is the first time that this policy area has been so visibly underlined in the EU budget structure. With an allocation of €24 323 million (in 2018 prices), Heading 5 is the smallest of the seven MFF headings and represents 2.1 % of the total MFF. Heading 5 'Security and Defence' under the new MFF consists of three 'policy clusters': security, (policy cluster number 12), defence (13) and crisis response (14). The programmes and funds proposed for Heading 5 consist of old and new initiatives. They include the continuation of the current Internal Security Fund – Police instrument, funding for nuclear decommissioning and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU). The European Defence Fund and the military mobility programme, which is a part of the Connecting Europe Facility, are new. The European Parliament position is supportive of the Commission proposal, with the exception of the allocation for nuclear decommissioning, which the Parliaments sees as insufficient. Even though the Council has not yet expressed its position on the 2021-2027 MFF, the Finnish EU Presidency contributed to the debate with its 'negotiation box' that proposed severe cuts to Heading 5, down to €16 491 million. The European Parliament reaction to this reduction is negative.

Migration and border management: Heading 4 of the 2021-2027 MFF

23-01-2020

The Treaty of Lisbon makes explicit reference to pooling financial resources to support common policies on asylum, immigration and external borders. While expenditure for these policy areas still represents a minor share of the EU budget, it has recently increased in the wake of the 2015-2016 refugee crisis. Since the resources available under the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) of the EU proved insufficient to address the crisis, EU institutions had to use the flexibility provisions ...

The Treaty of Lisbon makes explicit reference to pooling financial resources to support common policies on asylum, immigration and external borders. While expenditure for these policy areas still represents a minor share of the EU budget, it has recently increased in the wake of the 2015-2016 refugee crisis. Since the resources available under the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) of the EU proved insufficient to address the crisis, EU institutions had to use the flexibility provisions of the MFF extensively. Given the increasing salience of the policy areas, the European Commission has proposed the establishment of a specific heading devoted to migration and border management worth €30.8 billion (2018 prices) in the 2021-2027 MFF. As compared with the current period, these allocations would represent a significant increase in relative terms, especially as regards border management. The heading would finance two funding instruments, the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF) and the Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF), as well as the activities of relevant EU decentralised agencies, such as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and the European Asylum Support Office. By designing these new funds, the European Commission seeks to improve synergies with other EU funding instruments and increase capacity to react to evolving needs. Negotiations for the MFF package are very complex, involving different legislative procedures for the adoption of the overall MFF and the sector-specific instruments. The European Parliament, the Council and the European Council are working on the proposals, which have also triggered reactions from other stakeholders, including academics, think-tanks and commentators.

How flexible is the EU budget? Flexibility instruments and mechanisms in the multiannual financial framework (MFF)

23-01-2020

The 1988 introduction of multiannual financial frameworks (MFF) in the European Union (EU) budgetary system has improved financial predictability and facilitated the development of multiannual spending programmes, but has had to be balanced by measures that provided some flexibility and ability to react to unexpected situations. Over the years, these flexibility instruments and mechanisms have developed and proved to be useful. Occasions to use them were frequent, as the crises and challenges faced ...

The 1988 introduction of multiannual financial frameworks (MFF) in the European Union (EU) budgetary system has improved financial predictability and facilitated the development of multiannual spending programmes, but has had to be balanced by measures that provided some flexibility and ability to react to unexpected situations. Over the years, these flexibility instruments and mechanisms have developed and proved to be useful. Occasions to use them were frequent, as the crises and challenges faced by the EU required actions that could not be financed under the tight expenditure ceilings of the agreed MFFs. Experience of implementation of the 2014-2020 MFF demonstrated that, with neither relevant flexibility mechanisms nor the possibility to revise the MFF in the mid-term, achieving policy goals and reacting adequately to unexpected events and crises, especially in the area of migration and security, would be impossible. The flexibility of the EU budgets has already featured as an important issue in the negotiations of the 2021 2027 MFF. The views of the main actors – the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council – on enhancing and designing such flexibility instruments diverge. It has yet to be seen if the issue, following the pattern of the 2014-2020 MFF negotiations, will play a key role in reaching an agreement.

EU Own Resources

15-01-2020

This Briefing is a background note for the Committee on Budgets public hearing on “EU Own Resources and Fiscal Policy Harmonisation: Untapped potential for Synergies?” held on 23 January 2020. It describes the very specific structure of the EU revenue which come from three types of own resources, i) traditional own resources, ii) VAT-based own resource and iii) GNI-based own resource. State of play of what has been done to improve own resource is provided. Lastly, fiscal policy harmonisation initiatives ...

This Briefing is a background note for the Committee on Budgets public hearing on “EU Own Resources and Fiscal Policy Harmonisation: Untapped potential for Synergies?” held on 23 January 2020. It describes the very specific structure of the EU revenue which come from three types of own resources, i) traditional own resources, ii) VAT-based own resource and iii) GNI-based own resource. State of play of what has been done to improve own resource is provided. Lastly, fiscal policy harmonisation initiatives in force and proposed are listed.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - January 2020

13-01-2020

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Ten issues to watch in 2020

06-01-2020

This is the fourth edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are biodiversity, EU policies for children, the 5G era, the price for energy transition, 'gamification' of EU democracy, finding solutions for asylum policy, the EU's long-term budget, climate action, the US elections, and the Arctic.

This is the fourth edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are biodiversity, EU policies for children, the 5G era, the price for energy transition, 'gamification' of EU democracy, finding solutions for asylum policy, the EU's long-term budget, climate action, the US elections, and the Arctic.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - December 2019

16-12-2019

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

EU-Africa academic cooperation

12-12-2019

EU-Africa academic cooperation is one of the priority of the strategic partnership between both regions. It allows the mobility of students, researchers and academic staff as well as the cooperation between academic institutions from both regions. The cooperation is supported, not least with the EU funds, through the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes as well as through the Inter-Africa Mobility Scheme. With the new financial perspective and the new ‘post-Cotonou’ agreement, still in negotiations ...

EU-Africa academic cooperation is one of the priority of the strategic partnership between both regions. It allows the mobility of students, researchers and academic staff as well as the cooperation between academic institutions from both regions. The cooperation is supported, not least with the EU funds, through the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes as well as through the Inter-Africa Mobility Scheme. With the new financial perspective and the new ‘post-Cotonou’ agreement, still in negotiations, it is important to ensure the future of the EU-Africa academic cooperation is relevant in scale to the needs and expectations and is focusing on topics important for both regions.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 12-13 December 2019

09-12-2019

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations ...

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations for the negotiations on future EU-UK relations. Finally, the Euro Summit will concentrate on the revision of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness (BICC), and technical work on the strengthening of the banking union.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument

29-11-2019

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament on secondary policy choices, through delegated acts, and for the budget for the instrument to be increased by nearly €4 billion, to €93.154 billion. MEPs also specifically called for an increase in the funds allocated to human rights and democracy activities, the percentage of funding that fulfils the criteria for official development assistance, and funds that support climate and environmental objectives. Moreover, Parliament's amendments include the introduction of gender mainstreaming targets, the earmarking of certain financial allocations, the suspension of assistance in case of human rights violations, and the reduction of the emerging challenges and priorities cushion to €7 billion. The Council adopted a partial mandate on 13 June 2019, and an additional mandate – on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD+) – on 25 September 2019. Following the committees' decision of 8 October 2019 to enter into interinstitutional negotiations on the basis of Parliament's first-reading position, a first trilogue meeting took place on 23 October 2019. The second is scheduled for 5 December 2019. Fourth edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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