Cohesion, resilience and values: Heading 2 of the 2021-2027 MFF

Briefing 14-04-2021

Heading 2 – Cohesion, resilience and values – is the biggest of the seven headings in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period in terms of budget. Since about 87 % of the heading falls under shared management and will be distributed to national envelopes, for the Member States it is a particularly important part of the MFF. It is also the most diverse heading in terms of the types of programme and fund included. It encompasses expenditure on cohesion, one of the EU's long-standing policies, on an entirely new budgetary instrument supporting economic recovery and resilience, and on other increasingly important goals, including youth, the creative sector, values, equality and the rule of law. Moreover, the bulk of the Next Generation EU instrument will be channelled through programmes under Heading 2. This briefing presents Heading 2 in detail. It aims to provide some clarity on its structure and allocation, and is structured around three spending areas: cohesion; recovery; and citizens and values. In the 2021-2027 MFF, the allocation on economic, social and territorial cohesion (subheading 2a) – the budget for cohesion policy – is about 10 % lower than its equivalent, subheading 1b, in the 2014-2020 MFF. Additional resources from REACT-EU, a temporary instrument financed under the Next Generation EU instrument (NGEU), will lift the cohesion policy budget to a level comparable with the allocation under the previous MFF. This is an update of a briefing from January 2019.