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Brussels, 21 May 2013
MFF negotiations: "Let us look beyond purely inter institutional dimension of these negotiations"
Highlights of EU Commissioner for Budget and Financial programming Janusz Lewandowski's speech at today's EU General Affairs Council meeting. The debate was on the state of negotiations on the EU's next financial period (MFF 2014-2020)
On MFF in general:
- It is in everybody's interest to reach an agreement on the next Multiannual Financial Framework before the end of June.
- Next week's negotiations will be the real test of intentions for everybody involved in the negotiations. Therefore I urge both Council and Parliament to look beyond the purely inter institutional dimension of these negotiations. Millions of beneficiaries of EU funds await an agreement: small and medium enterprises, medical research labs, towns and regions, students, NGOs. Those beneficiaries represent some 95% of the EU budget!
- Let me remind you: 7 years ago, the political agreement on the current MFF was reached in April. This time, we are already end of May and still have no agreement. There is a serious risk that EU funded programmes will be delayed just as Europe badly needs predictable sources of investment guaranteed by the EU budget.
On Flexibility of the EU budget:
- We cannot lose a single Euro from the EU budget, as for the first time ever the amounts proposed for the next period are lower than for the current period. For the European Commission the ability to carry over unused payments from one year to another is therefore a "conditio sine qua non" in the negotiations because it will allow for a sound management of the EU budget.
The press conference is available on-line here.