Natural resources and environment: Heading 3 of the 2021-2027 MFF

Briefing 27-01-2020

Dedicated to programmes and funds supporting agriculture and maritime policy, and environment and climate change, Heading 3 is the second biggest in terms of funding in the European Commission proposal on the future multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The two agricultural funds – the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – are the main financial instruments for the common agricultural policy (CAP). They will continue to absorb the greater part of the financial resources under this heading. However, the European Commission proposes an amount of €324 284 million to cover both funds, which is a decrease of around €60 000 million (or 15 %) compared to the current MFF (2014-2020), after deducing current United Kingdom (UK) spending. The proposed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) would amount to €5 448 million, which is 13 % less than in the current MFF, after deducting current UK spending. In its November 2018 resolution on the European Commission proposals for the new MFF, the European Parliament, raised the budget for agricultural and maritime policy back to the level of the current MFF (2014-2020), to €391 198 million. Where the European Commission proposes €4 828 million for the Programme for Environment & Climate Action (LIFE) for 2021-2027, Parliament's resolution increased this amount considerably, requesting an allocation of €6 442 million. Parliament has also asked for a new Energy Transition Fund, with a budget of €4 800 million for 2021-2027, to address the negative socio-economic impact on workers and communities affected by the transition from a coal and carbon dependent economy to a low-carbon economy. The Council has not yet adopted a position on the MFF proposal and national positions are divergent. However, according to the 'negotiating box' proposed by the Finnish Council Presidency, under Heading 3, the cuts in the budget for agriculture would represent a reduction of 13 % in spending, compared to the current MFF.