26 / 02 / 2018

EU Institutions Discussing the Next EU Long-Term Budget Post-2020 (MFF)

The EU Institutions are discussing the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the post-2020 long-term budget of the EU.
  • The European Commission (EC) has published a Communication for a New Modern MFF on 14 February. It sets out the different options and their consequences. It includes for instance a specific page on EU R&I budget (p.9), clearly stating that maintaining or decreasing EU R&I budget would have detrimental effects. It also states that increasing the budget of EU R&I Framework Programme to €120bn would create an additional 420,000 jobs and an additional GDP of 0.33% by 2040. The EC will present its formal MFF proposal on 2 May 2018.
  • The European Parliament (EP) BUDG Committee has adopted the EP draft report on MFF on 22 February, setting out their position for negotiating the next long-term EU budget. EU BUDG Committee MEPs  want the EU budget to reflect a political project and long-term strategy for a stronger and more sustainable Europe, asking for an EU’s expenditure to be increased to 1.3% of the GNI. They also strongly stress the need to boost the EU R&I research programme, asking for 120M€ for FP9. The draft report will be discussed and voted at the EP plenary meeting on 13-14 March.
  • The EU heads of state and government discussed the MFF during the Informal European Council of 23 February. The European Council President Donald Tusk highlighted during the following press conference that many leaders stressed the continued importance of investments in R&I. He added that despite usual differences, all leaders are ready to work on the modernisation of the EU budget and its policies and many are ready to contribute more to the post-2020 budget.
In terms of timing: the EC and EP call for discussions to be launched without delay between the three institutions in order to try to reach an agreement before the European elections. The European Council  agreed that the aim should be to speed up the work, as compared with the previous MFF negotiations, but they also say that finding an agreement in the European Council already this year seems really difficult and that they will be able to better assess the situation once they will have received the EC’s proposal.
On that topic, EARTO recently published a Call on the European Institutions to Secure an Increased RD&I Budget at the Level of Europe’s Ambitions.