22/11/2012 - 23/11/2012
Justus Lipsius building, Brussels
The European Council will seek to reach an agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 on the basis of draft conclusions, submitted by the President of the European Council in close cooperation with the Cyprus Presidency and the President of the Commission. The conclusions will be discussed by the General Affairs Council on 20 November.
The MFF Regulation sets out annual maximum amounts - ceilings - which the EU is allowed to spend on policy areas - "headings" - over a period of no less than 5 years. It also sets out an annual global ceiling for total expenditure. Its aim is to:
- translate political priorities into figures for the budget cycle 2014-2020;
- ensure budgetary discipline for the EU; and
- facilitate the adoption of the annual EU budget through a multiannual framework.
The negotiations started in July 2011 after the presentation of the Commission's proposals and they involve three EU institutions: the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission. The European Council provides guidance to the Council in the form of a political agreement on the key political issues. The purpose of the negotiations is to broadly define for the next budget cycle:
- expenditure limits that determine how much money the EU can spend;
- spending programmes that determine what the money should be spent on;
- rules defining how the expenditure should be financed.
The MFF regulation must be adopted by unanimity by the Council, after receiving the consent of the European Parliament.