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Single market, innovation and digital: Heading 1 of the 2021-2027 MFF

27-01-2020

The European Union's long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF), sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. It is structured around the EU's spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or 'headings'. Heading 1 – Single market, innovation and digital – is one of the seven headings in the MFF proposed by the European Commission for the new 2021-2027 financial period. The heading covers spending in four policy areas: research and innovation ...

The European Union's long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF), sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. It is structured around the EU's spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or 'headings'. Heading 1 – Single market, innovation and digital – is one of the seven headings in the MFF proposed by the European Commission for the new 2021-2027 financial period. The heading covers spending in four policy areas: research and innovation, European strategic investments, single market, and space. The Commission, with a view to matching the budget to the EU's political ambitions, is proposing an overall amount of €166.3 billion (in 2018 prices) for this heading, representing 14.7 % of the MFF proposal. However, the new Commission's six priorities for 2019-2024 could have a budgetary impact on this heading, in particular the support for investment in green technologies and a cleaner private and public transport, which are among the actions included in the European Green Deal, and efforts to enable Europe to make the most of the potential of the digital age. This briefing presents the structure and budget allocation of Heading 1 and compares it with the current MFF. It describes each policy cluster and compares the Commission's budgetary proposal with the European Parliament's negotiating position and the negotiating box presented by the Finnish Presidency in December 2019. It then explores some considerations that could contribute to the forthcoming budgetary negotiations on the 2021-2027 MFF.

The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework in figures

24-01-2020

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) sets the maximum level of resources (‘ceiling’) for each major category (‘heading’) of EU spending for a period of seven years. In addition to a financial plan, it sets the EU’s long-term priorities. With the 2014-2020 MFF nearing its end, the EU is now in negotiations on the next long-term budget. In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals for the 2021-2027 MFF. Equivalent to 1.11 % of EU-27 gross national income (GNI ...

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) sets the maximum level of resources (‘ceiling’) for each major category (‘heading’) of EU spending for a period of seven years. In addition to a financial plan, it sets the EU’s long-term priorities. With the 2014-2020 MFF nearing its end, the EU is now in negotiations on the next long-term budget. In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals for the 2021-2027 MFF. Equivalent to 1.11 % of EU-27 gross national income (GNI), it takes into account the initiatives to which the Member States committed in the Bratislava and Rome declarations, as well as the loss of a major contributor due to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. The European Parliament considers the proposal insufficient, given all commitments and priorities, and estimates that the MFF ceiling should amount to 1.3 % of EU-27 GNI. The Member States’ views on both the size and other aspects of the future MFF diverge, and the Council has not yet agreed its position. EU leaders are expected to take the next important decisions on the matter during the first half of 2020. The resources proposed for the 2021-2027 MFF are distributed across seven headings, representing the EU’s long-term priorities. They include spending programmes and funds that are the basis for the implementation of the EU budget. Our infographic provides a breakdown of the proposals for each of the seven headings, as well as an indication of the changes from the current MFF (2014-2027) represented by both the Commission's proposal and Parliament's position on that proposal.

Financing EU security and defence: Heading 5 of the 2021-2027 MFF

23-01-2020

For the new 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), the European Commission proposes to dedicate a separate heading to security and defence – Heading 5. Although the European Union (EU) has already financed action linked to security and defence, this is the first time that this policy area has been so visibly underlined in the EU budget structure. With an allocation of €24 323 million (in 2018 prices), Heading 5 is the smallest of the seven MFF headings and represents 2.1 % of the total ...

For the new 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), the European Commission proposes to dedicate a separate heading to security and defence – Heading 5. Although the European Union (EU) has already financed action linked to security and defence, this is the first time that this policy area has been so visibly underlined in the EU budget structure. With an allocation of €24 323 million (in 2018 prices), Heading 5 is the smallest of the seven MFF headings and represents 2.1 % of the total MFF. Heading 5 'Security and Defence' under the new MFF consists of three 'policy clusters': security, (policy cluster number 12), defence (13) and crisis response (14). The programmes and funds proposed for Heading 5 consist of old and new initiatives. They include the continuation of the current Internal Security Fund – Police instrument, funding for nuclear decommissioning and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU). The European Defence Fund and the military mobility programme, which is a part of the Connecting Europe Facility, are new. The European Parliament position is supportive of the Commission proposal, with the exception of the allocation for nuclear decommissioning, which the Parliaments sees as insufficient. Even though the Council has not yet expressed its position on the 2021-2027 MFF, the Finnish EU Presidency contributed to the debate with its 'negotiation box' that proposed severe cuts to Heading 5, down to €16 491 million. The European Parliament reaction to this reduction is negative.

Financing EU external action in the new MFF, 2021-2027: Heading 6 'Neighbourhood and the World'

13-11-2019

In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposals for the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), the EU's seven-year budget for the 2021-2027 period, followed by proposals for the MFF's individual sectoral programmes. In the proposals, financing external action is covered under Heading 6, 'Neighbourhood and the World', which replaces the current Heading 4, 'Global Europe'. Taking into account the evolving context both internationally and within the EU, as well as the conclusions of ...

In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposals for the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), the EU's seven-year budget for the 2021-2027 period, followed by proposals for the MFF's individual sectoral programmes. In the proposals, financing external action is covered under Heading 6, 'Neighbourhood and the World', which replaces the current Heading 4, 'Global Europe'. Taking into account the evolving context both internationally and within the EU, as well as the conclusions of the current MFF's mid-term review, the Commission has proposed changes to the EU external action budget in order to make it simpler and more flexible, and to enable the EU to engage more strategically with its partner countries in the future. The proposed Heading 6 comes with increased resources and important structural changes. It envisages merging the majority of the current stand-alone external financing instruments into a single one – the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – as well as integrating into it the biggest EU external financing fund – the European Development Fund – currently outside the budget. Another proposed novelty is to set up an off-budget instrument – the European Peace Facility – to fund security and defence-related actions. With these changes, the Commission strives to take into account, among other things, the need for the EU to align its actions with its new and renewed international commitments under the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, the new EU Global Strategy, the European Consensus on Development, the European Neighbourhood Policy, and to make EU added value, relevance and credibility more visible. Negotiations on the 2021-2027 MFF are under way. The final decision is to be taken by the Council, acting by unanimity, with the European Parliament's consent. However, in view of current political realities and the financial implications of the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the adoption of a modern budget for the future remains a challenge that is not limited to Heading 6. Further developments are expected by the end of 2019.

Multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027: The future of EU finances

28-06-2019

On 20 June 2019, the European Council examined the progress of work in the Council on the Commission proposal for the long-term design of the post-2020 EU budget. The European Council now aims to reach an agreement among Heads of State or Government before the end of 2019. Elements for consideration in the draft regulation, which is part of a broader package of proposals, include the following features of the new multiannual financial framework (MFF): total resources, structure, priorities, flexibility ...

On 20 June 2019, the European Council examined the progress of work in the Council on the Commission proposal for the long-term design of the post-2020 EU budget. The European Council now aims to reach an agreement among Heads of State or Government before the end of 2019. Elements for consideration in the draft regulation, which is part of a broader package of proposals, include the following features of the new multiannual financial framework (MFF): total resources, structure, priorities, flexibility provisions, and revision clauses. The European Parliament has already detailed its negotiating position in November 2018, with a view to contributing to a smooth transition to the next MFF and its related EU spending programmes as of 2021.

2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and new own resources: Analysis of the Commission's proposal

26-07-2018

The process of negotiating a new seven-year financial plan for the EU has now begun formally with the Commission's publication of proposals for a 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and for a new system of own resources providing the revenue to pay for it. This analysis presents the proposed new MFF and own resources and compares them to the status quo, as well as to the European Parliament's priorities as expressed in plenary resolutions adopted in spring 2018.

The process of negotiating a new seven-year financial plan for the EU has now begun formally with the Commission's publication of proposals for a 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and for a new system of own resources providing the revenue to pay for it. This analysis presents the proposed new MFF and own resources and compares them to the status quo, as well as to the European Parliament's priorities as expressed in plenary resolutions adopted in spring 2018.

Post-2020 MFF and own resources: Ahead of the Commission's proposal

27-04-2018

On 2 May, the Commission is expected to publish proposals for a new multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the European Union for the years after 2020, as well as for a new system of own resources (OR) to provide the EU with the means to finance its annual budgets. The following day the proposals are to be presented to the Parliament's Committee on Budgets (BUDG).The proposals are being published as a package, and will be followed by a series of further legislative proposals for individual spending ...

On 2 May, the Commission is expected to publish proposals for a new multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the European Union for the years after 2020, as well as for a new system of own resources (OR) to provide the EU with the means to finance its annual budgets. The following day the proposals are to be presented to the Parliament's Committee on Budgets (BUDG).The proposals are being published as a package, and will be followed by a series of further legislative proposals for individual spending programmes to appear later in May and in June. The next MFF and OR system will set the EU's priorities and determine much of its scope for action for a period of at least five years. The proposals are an opportunity for the Commission to respond to a set of longstanding issues concerning how the EU finances its priorities, and to new issues arising from a political landscape that has changed profoundly since 2013, when the EU last negotiated its multiannual budget plan. Chief among these are the twin pressures affecting both the revenue and spending sides of the budget: the loss of a major net contributor country in the departure from the EU of the United Kingdom; and growing pressure to respond to new challenges mainly linked to the refugee and migration crisis that erupted after the current MFF was put in place, as well as ongoing issues resulting from the financial and sovereign debt crises. The Commission's proposals for a new MFF and OR will also respond to the question of how big the EU budget should be. Currently subject to a political cap of 1 % of the EU's GNI, the EU budget is modest in comparison with the government budgets of the EU's Member States. Nevertheless, negotiations over whether to increase this cap will be politically fraught in a context where some Member States are under pressure to reduce national budget deficits. Other issues at stake in the negotiations are the flexibility, conditionalities, structure and duration of the next MFF, and the sensitive question of whether to increase the EU's financial autonomy by endowing it with new and significant own resources.

Performance budgeting: A means to improve EU spending

16-03-2018

In 2015, the European Commission launched an initiative entitled 'The EU budget focused on results'. It is aimed at changing spending culture and making results a horizontal priority for the EU budget. The initiative is based on a popular contemporary budgeting method known as 'performance budgeting'. This paper presents the method and its application to the EU budget. It explains why, although not easy to implement, performance budgeting is seen as an attractive way to increase value for money and ...

In 2015, the European Commission launched an initiative entitled 'The EU budget focused on results'. It is aimed at changing spending culture and making results a horizontal priority for the EU budget. The initiative is based on a popular contemporary budgeting method known as 'performance budgeting'. This paper presents the method and its application to the EU budget. It explains why, although not easy to implement, performance budgeting is seen as an attractive way to increase value for money and enhance the transparency and democratic accountability of public finances. The paper also analyses how the performance budgeting approach has evolved within the EU budgetary system and what challenges and obstacles to its implementation remain. The commitment of the European Commission to the principles of performance budgeting, as well as the broad support for the idea expressed by the European Parliament and the Council, give grounds to believe that these efforts will continue in the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework

06-03-2018

In May 2018, the European Commission is expected to adopt a proposal on a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period after 2020, alongside proposals on the reform of the 'own resources' system. Parliament's Committee on Budgets (BUDG) has adopted an own-initiative report on its position on the future MFF, together with one on reform of 'own resources'. Due to be debated during the March plenary session, the two texts will set out Parliament’s perspective on both the revenue and expenditure ...

In May 2018, the European Commission is expected to adopt a proposal on a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period after 2020, alongside proposals on the reform of the 'own resources' system. Parliament's Committee on Budgets (BUDG) has adopted an own-initiative report on its position on the future MFF, together with one on reform of 'own resources'. Due to be debated during the March plenary session, the two texts will set out Parliament’s perspective on both the revenue and expenditure sides of the EU budget, which it argues should be treated as a single package in the upcoming negotiations.

The European Council and the Multiannual Financial Framework

21-02-2018

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the MFF was for the first time given a legal basis in the EU Treaties and a new procedure was introduced for its adoption. The MFF is now laid down in a regulation adopted by the Council, acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure, once European Parliament consent is obtained. The post-2020 MFF process will represent the second full application of this new procedure, following the negotiations on the MFF for 2014-2020. The Treaty of ...

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the MFF was for the first time given a legal basis in the EU Treaties and a new procedure was introduced for its adoption. The MFF is now laid down in a regulation adopted by the Council, acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure, once European Parliament consent is obtained. The post-2020 MFF process will represent the second full application of this new procedure, following the negotiations on the MFF for 2014-2020. The Treaty of Lisbon also established the European Council as one of the seven institutions of the European Union and defined its role and powers. In accordance with Article 15(1) TEU, the European Council 'shall provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and shall define the general political directions and priorities thereof'. Moreover, the European Council 'shall not exercise legislative functions'. Notwithstanding this prohibition on the exercise of legislative functions, and despite the lack of a formal role assigned to it in the financial provisions of the Treaties (Articles 310 to 324 TFEU), the European Council – as was already the case prior to the Lisbon Treaty – played a central role in the 2014-2020 MFF negotiation. Acting on the basis of its competence to 'define the general political directions and priorities', the European Council adopted detailed conclusions on the MFF, which purported to define the MFF ceilings and the financial envelopes for all policy sectors for the seven-year MFF period. In its resolution of 15 April 2014 on the lessons to be learned from the 2014-2020 negotiations, the European Parliament identified the impact of the European Council's involvement in the Parliament's legislative prerogatives as a matter of particular concern. The aspects most often considered when assessing the MFF and its negotiation process are the overall size of the budget, own resources, national bargaining positions, and the tensions between net beneficiary and net contributor countries. To date, only limited attention has been paid to the role of the European Council. This Briefing analyses the European Council's involvement in the process of adopting the 2014-2020 MFF during the different negotiation phases and outlines the concerns expressed by the Parliament in this respect. It also provides an indicative timeline and potential milestones for the post-2020 MFF negotiations and looks at the possible role of the European Council in this process, thereby attempting an initial assessment of possible similarities with and differences to the 2014-2020 MFF negotiations.

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