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Own resources of the European Union: Reforming the EU's financing system

06-10-2020

In July 2020, the European Council reached political agreement on the reform of the own resources system that finances the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. The Council’s adoption of the own resources decision, translating the deal on the revenue ...

In July 2020, the European Council reached political agreement on the reform of the own resources system that finances the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. The Council’s adoption of the own resources decision, translating the deal on the revenue side of the EU budget into a legal text, must be preceded by Parliament’s legislative opinion and followed by the ratification of the decision by all Member States. Parliament fast-tracked its legislative opinion, adopted in September 2020, to enable the Council to ensure the timely launch of NGEU. Parliament has repeatedly stressed that it will not give its consent to the MFF without proper reform of the financing system, and negotiations continue on the rest of the package. Notably, Parliament underlines that the introduction of a basket of new own resources should cover at least the repayment costs of NGEU. Deeming the new plastics contribution a first partial step in this direction, Parliament intends to negotiate a legally binding calendar on the introduction of five additional new own resources, linked to EU policies on climate and the single market. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Opinion on the EU own resources system

10-09-2020

Following the European Council’s July political agreement on the EU’s financing system, the European Parliament is expected to vote its legislative opinion on the reform during its September plenary part-session, with a view to expediting the launch of the borrowing operations of Next Generation EU. The report adopted on 1 September by the Committee on Budgets stresses that new own resources must be introduced, and finance at least the entire repayment costs of the recovery instrument. Parliament ...

Following the European Council’s July political agreement on the EU’s financing system, the European Parliament is expected to vote its legislative opinion on the reform during its September plenary part-session, with a view to expediting the launch of the borrowing operations of Next Generation EU. The report adopted on 1 September by the Committee on Budgets stresses that new own resources must be introduced, and finance at least the entire repayment costs of the recovery instrument. Parliament intends to negotiate a legally binding calendar to this end.

Future financing of the Union: MFF, Own Resources and Next Generation EU

22-07-2020

On 21 July, EU Heads of State or Government reached a political agreement on the future design of EU finances. The next step involves negotiations between Parliament, whose consent is required for the adoption of the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF), and Council. In an extraordinary part-session two days later, Parliament is expected to vote on a motion for a resolution that confirms Parliament’s readiness to enter immediately into negotiations to improve the deal and sets out conditions ...

On 21 July, EU Heads of State or Government reached a political agreement on the future design of EU finances. The next step involves negotiations between Parliament, whose consent is required for the adoption of the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF), and Council. In an extraordinary part-session two days later, Parliament is expected to vote on a motion for a resolution that confirms Parliament’s readiness to enter immediately into negotiations to improve the deal and sets out conditions for its consent to the MFF.

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.

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.

Establishing an MFF contingency plan

11-05-2020

The EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) should start on 1 January 2021, but the negotiations have encountered delays in the European Council and Council. During the May plenary part-session, the European Parliament is expected to vote a report by its Committee on Budgets, asking the Commission to prepare urgently a legislative proposal for a contingency plan should the post-2020 MFF not be agreed on time. The objective would be to provide a safety net to protect beneficiaries of EU funds ...

The EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) should start on 1 January 2021, but the negotiations have encountered delays in the European Council and Council. During the May plenary part-session, the European Parliament is expected to vote a report by its Committee on Budgets, asking the Commission to prepare urgently a legislative proposal for a contingency plan should the post-2020 MFF not be agreed on time. The objective would be to provide a safety net to protect beneficiaries of EU funds, while ensuring that the EU budget can keep contributing to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its socio-economic consequences.

Discharge procedure for the EU Budget: Political scrutiny of budgetary implementation

05-05-2020

The European Commission is ultimately responsible for the execution of the European Union's budget. However, the process also involves a range of other players, including Member States, to which the Commission delegates implementing tasks relating to a significant share of the budget. Each year, the discharge procedure ensures that there is ex-post democratic oversight at political level of how the EU's annual budget has been used. It aims to verify whether implementation was in accordance with relevant ...

The European Commission is ultimately responsible for the execution of the European Union's budget. However, the process also involves a range of other players, including Member States, to which the Commission delegates implementing tasks relating to a significant share of the budget. Each year, the discharge procedure ensures that there is ex-post democratic oversight at political level of how the EU's annual budget has been used. It aims to verify whether implementation was in accordance with relevant rules (compliance), including the principles of sound financial management (performance). The decision on whether to grant discharge for the execution of the EU budget is made by the European Parliament, which acts on a non-binding recommendation by the Council, the other arm of the EU budgetary authority. Another key institution is the European Court of Auditors, the EU's independent external auditor, whose reports are a fundamental part of the procedure. The discharge procedure has proved to be a powerful tool, which has had an impact on the evolution of the EU's budgetary system, while helping to increase the Parliament's political leverage. Recent years have shown a trend towards a greater focus on results and performance, strongly supported and promoted by the European Parliament. For example, the 2018 version of the EU's Financial Regulation simplified the rules for budgetary implementation and introduced the 'single audit' approach to shared management. Another noteworthy issue is the question of how to ensure EU-level democratic scrutiny of financial tools set up to respond to crises either outside the EU's institutional framework (e.g. the European Stability Mechanism) or at least partially outside the EU budget (e.g. EU trust funds). This Briefing updates a previous edition of April 2016.

European Green Deal Investment Plan: Main elements and possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic

16-04-2020

The von der Leyen Commission launched the European Green Deal as the new growth strategy of the European Union (EU), with a view to promoting the transition to a climate-neutral economy by 2050. Confirming the importance of financial resources for such a major objective, its investment pillar was the first initiative of the strategy to be presented. The European Green Deal Investment Plan, also known as the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, aims to contribute to financing a sustainable transition ...

The von der Leyen Commission launched the European Green Deal as the new growth strategy of the European Union (EU), with a view to promoting the transition to a climate-neutral economy by 2050. Confirming the importance of financial resources for such a major objective, its investment pillar was the first initiative of the strategy to be presented. The European Green Deal Investment Plan, also known as the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, aims to contribute to financing a sustainable transition, while supporting the regions and communities most exposed to its impact. By combining legislative and non-legislative initiatives, the plan addresses three aspects: 1) mobilising funding worth at least €1 trillion from the EU budget and other public and private sources over the next decade; 2) putting sustainability at the heart of investment decisions across all sectors; and 3) providing support to public administrations and project promoters to create a robust pipeline of sustainable projects. The debate on the investment plan is interlinked with the ongoing negotiations on the EU’s 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which requires the European Parliament’s consent and unanimity in the Council. Parliament, which is traditionally a strong advocate of climate and environmental objectives, has called for an ambitious MFF, with resources commensurate with the goal of facilitating a just transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Commentators have identified both positive elements and possible weaknesses in the Commission’s plan, arguing that it is a step in the right direction but would provide only part of the resources needed to meet the current climate targets for 2030. The impact of the pandemic has raised concerns that decarbonisation strategies could be derailed. However, analysts and stakeholders generally agree on their continued relevance, arguing that green investments from public and private sources must play a central role in any economic recovery plan.

Temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE)

15-04-2020

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is having a major negative impact on employment. As part of the EU’s response to the crisis, the European Commission has proposed the creation of SURE, a temporary instrument to complement national efforts to protect employees and the self-employed from the risk of unemployment and loss of income. Under the scheme, the EU would be able to provide financial support worth up to €100 billion to 'short-time work' schemes and other national measures that have this objective ...

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is having a major negative impact on employment. As part of the EU’s response to the crisis, the European Commission has proposed the creation of SURE, a temporary instrument to complement national efforts to protect employees and the self-employed from the risk of unemployment and loss of income. Under the scheme, the EU would be able to provide financial support worth up to €100 billion to 'short-time work' schemes and other national measures that have this objective. The Eurogroup has welcomed the proposal, which the Council should now fine-tune and adopt rapidly. While the instrument is linked to the EU budget through a guarantee scheme, Parliament is not involved in the legislative procedure due to the legal basis.

Economic and Budgetary Outlook for the European Union 2020

31-01-2020

This study, the fourth in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond. It summarises the main economic indicators in the EU and euro area and their two-year trends. It explains the annual EU budget, provides an overview of its headings for 2020, and sets out the wider budgetary framework – the multiannual financial framework (MFF) – and its possible evolution in the new decade. A special 'economic focus' puts the spotlight on the international ...

This study, the fourth in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond. It summarises the main economic indicators in the EU and euro area and their two-year trends. It explains the annual EU budget, provides an overview of its headings for 2020, and sets out the wider budgetary framework – the multiannual financial framework (MFF) – and its possible evolution in the new decade. A special 'economic focus' puts the spotlight on the international role of the euro, and on various recent EU-level initiatives in this field.

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Public Hearing "Women and digitalisation"
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FEMM AIDA
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Worskhop on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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