A political agreement on the 2014 – 2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) among European institutions was reached on 27 June 2013. The leaders of the European Parliament, Council and Commission agreed on a compromise that is to be formally endorsed by the European Parliament and the EU Council.
The proposed MFF includes new initiatives to help young Europeans find jobs, to help small and medium enterprises gain access to badly needed investment funds. The agreement also includes insurance that all obligations for the 2013 EU budget will be met, enabling the EU to start the financial period without unpaid claims made in the past. The MFF includes an important deal on flexibility which will allow making a maximum use of funds the level of which has been substantially reduced by the EU Member States as compared to the original Commission´s proposal.
The multiannual financial framework is a spending plan that translates the EU priorities into financial terms. It is not a seven-year budget, but the basis for the annual budgetary exercise. It sets the maximum annual amounts which the EU may spend in different political fields. It therefore provides a political as well as budgetary framework for the benefit of 500 million Europeans. The current MFF period started in 2007 and will end in 2013. The European Council (February 2013) decided that the new MFF will be lower than the current one.
Commission proposals for the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020
Detailed proposals for various policies (cohesion, agriculture, research and innovation, education, etc.) for the next period were adopted by the Commission before the end of 2011.
The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission engaged in intense negotiations. In June 2013, the presidents of the institutions reached a political agreement which was approved by the European Parliament in a resolution on 3 July 2013.
The final legal texts must now be adopted: the European Parliament gave its formal consent in a vote on 19 November. The MFF package was formally adopted by the Council on 2 December 2013.
In parallel to the negotiations on the 2014-2020 MFF, discussions on the underlying individual sectorial programmes (e.g. cohesion, agriculture, etc.) for 2014-2020 are also ongoing between the Parliament, the Council and the European Commission under the ordinary legislation procedure.
This is of crucial importance as a vast majority of programmes run out on 31 December 2013. Therefore, to ensure the funding for millions of EU beneficiaries, the legal bases have to be finalised before that date.
This spending plan seeks to increase growth and jobs in Europe, encourage greener agriculture and establish a more environment-conscious and internationally prominent Europe.
The proposals foresee funding increases for research and innovation, education and training and external relations. Specific funds will be used to fight crime and terrorism, and for migration and asylum policies. Climate spending is expected to represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020.
The Connecting Europe Facility is a completely new way to fund cross-border transport, energy and digital infrastructure projects to strengthen the internal market and boost growth and jobs.