EU long-term budget: EP still waiting for Council proposals 

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Hardly any progress was made during the fifth round of trilateral talks. Council does not show a real will to negotiate Parliament’s key demands.

“We have met the German Council Presidency in the format of trilateral talks, including the Commission, for the fifth time now this Monday, and have still not seen any viable offer from Council’s side concerning the key issue of top-ups for the 15 flagship EU programmes since the start of these talks, one of Parliament’s central demands. In a negotiation, both sides have to move”, said the members of the Parliament’s negotiating team on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Own Resources (OR).


“The beneficiaries of the EU budget want to be able to plan ahead, and the citizens are waiting for a response to the crisis. There are just a few weeks left before the end of October. If no political agreement on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is reached by then, it would jeopardise the smooth start of the new programmes as of 1 January 2021. Council must not delay the talks further, and moreover, start the ratification procedure for the Own Resources Decision immediately, in order to swiftly start the recovery plan”, the MEPs added.


“No further progress, since the steps ahead made during the last round, has been reached either on the legally binding commitment to introduce new Own Resources, beyond an agreement to integrate it into the Interinstitutional Agreement accompanying the MFF regulation. The wording has to reflect concrete commitment, and the introduction of new OR must be linked to the repayment of the debts derived from the recovery plan, or ‘Next Generation EU’”, MEPs concluded.


Listen to the assessment of the negotiating team in the Budgets committee meeting following the trilateral dialogue


EP is still fighting for a good agreement


Parliament continues to insist on real increases to EU flagship programmes, which Council has cut severely. With plans currently on the table, as of 2024, the EU budget as a whole will be below 2020 levels, jeopardising the EU’s commitments and priorities, notably the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda.


Also, they demand a binding roadmap for the three institutions on new sources of EU income (Own Resources) in order to pay back the recovery cost, for example through the contributions from transnational polluters and multinational corporations that practice tax optimisation, so it won’t become a burden for the next generation.



The EP’s negotiating team for the next long-term EU budget and Own Resources reform


Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets

Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL), MFF co-rapporteur

Margarida Marques (S&D, PT), MFF co-rapporteur

José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), Own Resources co-rapporteur

Valérie Hayer (RENEW, FR), Own Resources co-rapporteur

Rasmus Andresen (Greens/EFA, DE)


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Background


As the current long-term EU budget is running out on 31 December 2020, the EU needs a new budgetary planning horizon for the next seven years. The EU Commission has thus presented plans for the next multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 in May 2018. The European Parliament has adopted its position in November 2018, and re-confirmed it in October 2019. The European Council has reached a political compromise on 21 July 2020, to which Parliament reacted immediately. Trilateral negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission have started on 27 August.


Ongoing negotiations are structured around the following topics:


  1. Reinforcing flagship programmes to preserve EU's capacity to invest besides and beyond the recovery.

  1. A legally binding commitment to introduce new own resources to repay the common debt from the recovery instrument without burdening citizens and in line with the European Union’s political ambitions.

  1. Increased legitimacy and accountability to citizens in the budgetary decision-making process - a stronger role for the EP in how the recovery money is raised and spent.

  1. Horizontal issues (climate, biodiversity, gender) and other provisions

Parliament has also conditioned its agreement to the setting-up of a strong mechanism to ensure respect for the Rule of Law, which is to be negotiated separately according to the codecision/ordinary legislative procedure, where Parliament and Council are on an equal footing.