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Documenting climate mainstreaming in the EU budget - making the system more transparent, strigent and comprehensive

16-07-2020

This study examines the current methodologies used for tracking climate-related and biodiversity-related expenditure in the EU budget. It identifies strengths and weaknesses of the current methodologies, and examines proposed changes to the methodologies for the 2021-2027 financial perspective. On this basis, it identifies potential objectives for strengthening the tracking mechanisms, and puts forward suggested approaches to meeting those objectives.

This study examines the current methodologies used for tracking climate-related and biodiversity-related expenditure in the EU budget. It identifies strengths and weaknesses of the current methodologies, and examines proposed changes to the methodologies for the 2021-2027 financial perspective. On this basis, it identifies potential objectives for strengthening the tracking mechanisms, and puts forward suggested approaches to meeting those objectives.

Ekstern forfatter

Martin NESBIT Thorfinn STAINFORTH Kaley HART Evelyn UNDERWOOD Gustavo BECERRA Institute for European Environmental Policy

Negotiations on the next MFF and the EU recovery instrument: Key issues ahead of the July European Council

15-07-2020

The current multiannual financial framework (MFF), also known as the EU's long-term budget, comes to an end this year. While the European Commission put forward a proposal for the next MFF and its financing in May 2018, agreement has so far proved elusive under legislative procedures that give a veto power to each Member State. In recent months, the unfinished negotiations have become intertwined with the debate on the creation of a common EU tool to counter the severe socio-economic consequences ...

The current multiannual financial framework (MFF), also known as the EU's long-term budget, comes to an end this year. While the European Commission put forward a proposal for the next MFF and its financing in May 2018, agreement has so far proved elusive under legislative procedures that give a veto power to each Member State. In recent months, the unfinished negotiations have become intertwined with the debate on the creation of a common EU tool to counter the severe socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020, the Commission tabled revised proposals for a 2021-2027 MFF worth €1 100 billion and the EU own resources system, together with a proposal for a €750 billion recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU). The latter would be financed with funds borrowed on the capital markets to reinforce EU budgetary instruments in the 2021-2024 period. In addition, an amendment to the current MFF would provide a bridging solution to fund some recovery objectives this year already. The complex negotiations, which involve many different legislative procedures, are now entering a key phase. Issues expected to be under the spotlight include: the size of the MFF and of the NGEU and their interaction; reform of the financing system with the possible creation of new EU own resources; the breakdown of allocations (between policies and Member States); the contribution to the green transition; conditionalities (such as rules linking EU spending to the rule of law or to challenges identified in the European Semester); flexibility provisions to react to unforeseen events; the mix of grants and loans in the recovery instrument; and the repayment of funds borrowed under NGEU. European Council President Charles Michel has prepared a compromise package ahead of the July European Council meeting. If the Heads of State or Government find a political agreement, the next step will involve negotiations between Parliament and Council, since the former's consent is required in order for the MFF Regulation to be adopted. Parliament, which has been ready to negotiate on the basis of a detailed position since November 2018, is a strong advocate of a robust MFF and an ambitious recovery plan. It has stressed that it will not give its consent if the package does not include reform of the EU financing system, introducing new EU own resources.

Outlook for the Special European Council meeting of 17-18 July 2020

14-07-2020

Based on an updated 'negotiating box' presented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on 10 July, the special meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July will aim at finding a political agreement on the EU recovery fund, entitled ‘Next Generation EU’, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-27 seven-year financing period. It will be the first meeting of EU Heads of State or Government to take place in person since the coronavirus outbreak. The last such physical ...

Based on an updated 'negotiating box' presented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on 10 July, the special meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July will aim at finding a political agreement on the EU recovery fund, entitled ‘Next Generation EU’, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-27 seven-year financing period. It will be the first meeting of EU Heads of State or Government to take place in person since the coronavirus outbreak. The last such physical meeting of the European Council – held on 20-21 February, prior to the crisis –failed to reach a political agreement on the EU's long-term budget. The revised negotiating box, taking into account the Commission's updated MFF proposals – adopted alongside, and linked to, its recovery fund proposals – envisages a reduced MFF amounting to €1.074 trillion. Furthermore, Charles Michel's proposals maintain the balance between loans and grants for the recovery fund proposed by the Commission. While a lot of pressure is being applied to find an agreement urgently, it remains to be seen whether EU leaders will agree a deal at this meeting or whether yet another meeting will be needed. In any case, the current MFF negotiations have already taken much longer than was originally intended, potentially jeopardising the timely launch of the EU's new spending programmes.

How EU funds tackle economic divide in the European Union STUDY

13-07-2020

When assessing the benefits Member States (MS) receive from the European Union (EU) budget, they primarily focus on their individual net positions, i.e. the net balance between their national contributions and the transfers received from the EU budget. This ‘juste retour’ thinking is associated with several limitations and problems and completely neglects the benefits accruing to MS beyond the pure financial streams related to the EU budget. MS may enjoy the indirect benefits that are related to ...

When assessing the benefits Member States (MS) receive from the European Union (EU) budget, they primarily focus on their individual net positions, i.e. the net balance between their national contributions and the transfers received from the EU budget. This ‘juste retour’ thinking is associated with several limitations and problems and completely neglects the benefits accruing to MS beyond the pure financial streams related to the EU budget. MS may enjoy the indirect benefits that are related to the various interventions and policies financed from the EU budget. Benefits may be also created for the EU as a whole in the case of policies coordinated and financed by the EU, replacing or complementing individual un-coordinated action at MS level and thus creating additional added value through making use of synergies. MS also benefit from intra-EU direct investments, intra-EU trade and the EU’s network effects. Therefore, the net position view could be complemented by additional indicators providing a more comprehensive picture of the overall benefits resulting for MS from the EU membership and budget and several reform options within the EU budget could help to overcome the net position view and support a debate focused less on national and more on the common interest of the EU altogether.

Ekstern forfatter

WIIW: Mr Robert Stehrer, Mr Roman Stöllinger, Mr Gabor Hunya, Ms Doris Hanzl-Weiss, Mr Mario Holzner, Mr Oliver Reiter WIFO: Ms Margit Schratzenstaller, Ms Julia Bachtrögler Blomeyer & Sanz: Ms Veronika Kubeková, Mr Roland Blomeyer

Amended proposal for the 2021-2027 MFF and 2021-2024 recovery instrument 'Next Generation EU' in figures

07-07-2020

This briefing provides a graphic presentation of the next long-term budget and recovery instrument (Next Generation EU) proposed by the European Commission on 27 May 2020 (COM 2020). By comparing it with the Commission's initial proposal of May 2018 (COM 2018) and the European Parliament's negotiating position, we highlight the changes for the future financing of EU priorities. The preparation of the EU's next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) started formally in May 2018 with the proposal from ...

This briefing provides a graphic presentation of the next long-term budget and recovery instrument (Next Generation EU) proposed by the European Commission on 27 May 2020 (COM 2020). By comparing it with the Commission's initial proposal of May 2018 (COM 2018) and the European Parliament's negotiating position, we highlight the changes for the future financing of EU priorities. The preparation of the EU's next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) started formally in May 2018 with the proposal from the European Commission, more than two years ago. The European Parliament adopted its detailed negotiating position on 14 November 2018. The European Council, however, held its first substantial debate on the proposals only on 20 February 2020, failing to find agreement. The coronavirus pandemic has complicated the situation further. Given the new circumstances, on 27 May 2020 the Commission put forward an amended proposal for the 2021-2027 MFF and, linked to it, a recovery instrument, entitled Next Generation EU (NGEU) for the years 2021-2024.

Amending Budget No 5/2020: Continuation of support to refugees in response to the Syria crisis

07-07-2020

Draft Amending Budget No 5/2020 (DAB 5/2020) accompanies the proposed decision of the European Parliament and of the Council to mobilise the Contingency Margin in order to continue support to refugees and host communities in response to the Syria crisis. Under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) heading 4, 'Global Europe', €100 million in commitment and payment appropriations is proposed as resilience support to refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon, whereas €485 million in commitment ...

Draft Amending Budget No 5/2020 (DAB 5/2020) accompanies the proposed decision of the European Parliament and of the Council to mobilise the Contingency Margin in order to continue support to refugees and host communities in response to the Syria crisis. Under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) heading 4, 'Global Europe', €100 million in commitment and payment appropriations is proposed as resilience support to refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon, whereas €485 million in commitment appropriations and €68 million in payment appropriations is proposed as urgent humanitarian support to refugees in Turkey under the Contingency Margin. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the Council position on DAB 5/2020 and the proposal to mobilise the Contingency Margin during its July plenary session.

The European Investment Bank's financial activities – 2019 annual report

06-07-2020

During its July plenary session, Parliament is scheduled to vote on the 2019 report on the European Investment Bank's financial activities, drafted by the Committee on Budgets. Among other things, the report highlights the need for the bank to put more focus on climate, digitalisation and just transition; further invest in the EU and beyond; provide continuous support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap firms; and ensure better governance and increased transparency.

During its July plenary session, Parliament is scheduled to vote on the 2019 report on the European Investment Bank's financial activities, drafted by the Committee on Budgets. Among other things, the report highlights the need for the bank to put more focus on climate, digitalisation and just transition; further invest in the EU and beyond; provide continuous support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap firms; and ensure better governance and increased transparency.

The EU budget and coronavirus [What Think Tanks are thinking]

06-07-2020

European Union leaders and institutions are now discussing plans to provide a major boost to the European economy to help it recover from the coronavirus crisis. They are doing so in the context of the new long-term EU budget, which would see the total ‘own resources’ ceiling for the Union more or less doubled. On 19 June 2020, the members of the European Council exchanged views by video-conference on the European Commission’s linked proposals, tabled on 27 May, for (i) a new ‘Next Generation EU’ ...

European Union leaders and institutions are now discussing plans to provide a major boost to the European economy to help it recover from the coronavirus crisis. They are doing so in the context of the new long-term EU budget, which would see the total ‘own resources’ ceiling for the Union more or less doubled. On 19 June 2020, the members of the European Council exchanged views by video-conference on the European Commission’s linked proposals, tabled on 27 May, for (i) a new ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery fund, and (ii) an updated Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the next seven-year financing period, from 2021 to 2027, in which the recovery fund would be embedded. The European Council will discuss these proposals again (in person) on 17-18 July in Brussels. In this context, think tankers and policy analysts have been debating the proposals and assessing their potential effectiveness. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on coronavirus and related issues. Earlier publications on financing the fight against the coronavirus can be found in a previous item in this series, published by EPRS on 8 June.

2018 report on protection of the EU's financial interests – Fight against fraud

06-07-2020

In October 2019, the European Commission published its annual report on the fight against fraud affecting EU financial interests in 2018. In total, 11 638 fraudulent and non-fraudulent irregularities were reported to the Commission in 2018, 25 % fewer than in 2017. They involved approximately €2.5 billion, a value that remained stable in comparison with 2017. The Committee on Budgetary Control has adopted a report on the Commission's annual report, which is due to be voted during the July plenary ...

In October 2019, the European Commission published its annual report on the fight against fraud affecting EU financial interests in 2018. In total, 11 638 fraudulent and non-fraudulent irregularities were reported to the Commission in 2018, 25 % fewer than in 2017. They involved approximately €2.5 billion, a value that remained stable in comparison with 2017. The Committee on Budgetary Control has adopted a report on the Commission's annual report, which is due to be voted during the July plenary session.

Next Generation EU: A European instrument to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

06-07-2020

The socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the European Union (EU) is posing significant challenges, not least to the good functioning of the single market and the euro area. This has led to a growing consensus on the need for a common recovery plan to complement national stimulus packages. The European Commission has put forward a proposal to establish a €750 billion European recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, to reinforce the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework ...

The socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the European Union (EU) is posing significant challenges, not least to the good functioning of the single market and the euro area. This has led to a growing consensus on the need for a common recovery plan to complement national stimulus packages. The European Commission has put forward a proposal to establish a €750 billion European recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, to reinforce the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The instrument would be financed from funds borrowed on the markets by the Commission on behalf of the EU, while a mix of new and already planned instruments under the EU budget would channel expenditure, combining grants (€500 billion) and loans (€250 billion). The proposal, which aims to focus on the geographical areas and sectors hardest hit by the crisis, seeks to ensure an economic rebound that is also about quality, since expenditure is to be in line with jointly agreed EU objectives such as the green and digital transitions. National allocations under the largest instrument, a new Recovery and Resilience Facility, are to address challenges identified in the context of the European Semester. The recovery instrument includes various proposals in which the European Parliament is involved to varying extents, depending on the issue at stake. The channelling of resources through the EU budget means that Parliament would be co-legislator of relevant spending instruments, and exercise democratic scrutiny of expenditure through the discharge procedure. The budgetary authority would not however determine annual expenditure of Next Generation EU in the budgetary procedure since financing would be based on external assigned revenue. The Commission has called for an agreement to be reached in July 2020, in order for the recovery instrument to be operational as of 2021. A €11.5 billion bridging solution would address some objectives already in 2020. Elements expected to be at the heart of the complex negotiations, which are linked to those on the 2021-2027 MFF, are: the size of the instrument; the mix of grants and loans; the allocation of resources between Member States; reform of the financing system of the EU budget with new own resources; and the repayment of the borrowed resources.

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