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Brussels, 18 February 2013
Closing remarks by President Barroso on the outcome of the European Council meeting on the Multiannual Financial Framework of 7-8 February 2013 (European Parliament Open Conference of Presidents)
"If I compare the present period with the next MFF the figures are telling. During the six first years of this MFF period, which are completed (I cannot yet speak about 2013 because as you know we are still in the implementation phase) we have spent on average 122.2 billion euros annually in actual payments. I am not speaking about commitments, nor ceilings of payments. I am speaking about actual payments on average. For the next MFF period with an overall payments ceiling fixed at 908.4 billion euros the average level of payments can reach 129.7 billion euros. This is 7.5 billion euros more payments every year during the seven years. So of course most depends now on the proper solutions of flexibility – flexibility between chapters, flexibility between years. Because what happens every year is that many resources go back to the Member States because they have not been implemented. This is the reality that we have today, namely because of the lack of absorption of many of our Member States. Some of them have an incredibly low level of absorption. So, I think it is possible, if there is goodwill on both sides to find a solution that enables us to find a compromise at the end. That is why I stated clearly that as it stands it (N.B. the deal agreed by the European Council) will not work and I think this is a very strong statement and I am saying it in front of you, because I made a statement to the minutes during the European Council. But with the proper level of flexibility, not only the carry-over between years, but also the performance reserve that was agreed by the European Council, also the N+3 rule that allows those Member States that are not able to spend in the two years after their commitments, but to have one extra year to spend the money, and also with transfers between headings, it is possible to find a way for the future."
For more information read also:
SPEECH/13/130 Speech by President Barroso on the outcome of the European Council meeting on the Multiannual Financial Framework of 7-8 February 2013 (European Parliament Open Conference of Presidents)