A revision of the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 was agreed by the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee on 13 February 2015. The aim of the revision is to allow the EU to transfer € 21.1 billion of unused commitments for certain funds from 2014 to subsequent years. This will allow for the preservation of commitments needed to support a number of EU programmes which could not be adopted in 2014. The agreement will also make it possible to adopt and implement the outstanding programmes. These programmes will encourage investments to stimulate growth and create jobs. The agreement keeps the total expenditure ceilings unchanged and involves no additional money.
"This agreement will allow the member states to use the investment funds agreed as part of the MFF regulation", said Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia and President of the Council.
The MFF regulation sets out maximum amounts - ceilings - which the EU is allowed to spend on policy areas - headings - over the period 2014-2020.
The revision of the MFF regulation allows the transfer of €16.5 billion to 2015, €4.5 billion to 2016 and the remaining € 0.1 billion to 2017. These commitments remained unused in 2014 due to the late adoption of 300 out of the 645 EU programmes. Commitments are legal promises to spend money on activities whose implementation can extend over several financial years.
The programmes concerned are supported by the structural funds, the cohesion fund, the European agricultural fund for rural development, the European maritime and fisheries fund, the asylum, migration and integration fund and the internal security fund.
The transfer of unused commitments concerns the following amounts and member states (in million €):
|Member state||Commitments in 2014||Commitments transferred to subsequent years|
|Czech Republic||3 241.2||3 229.4|
|Spain||5 657.7||3 462.3|
|France||3 736.3||1 481.1|
|Italy||6 223.1||4 135.4|
|Romania||3 982.3||3 111.6|
|United Kingdom||2 316.8||1 249.1|
|Total||61 754.4||21 104.6|
The MFF regulation adopted on 2 December 2013 provides for a revision of the EU's multiannual financial framework in the case of late adoption of programmes under shared management. The MFF regulation also sets a deadline of 1 May 2015 for adopting the revision.
The revision of the MFF regulation requires unanimity in the Council. The political agreement reached by the Permanent Representatives Committee is expected to be confirmed by the Ecofin Council on 17 February. The revised MFF regulation will be adopted by the Council once it has obtained the consent of the European Parliament. The revision of the MFF will be accompanied by the adoption of draft amending budget no 2 translating the MFF revision into budgetary terms by increasing the commitments in the 2015 budget by € 16.5 billion.
By setting expenditure ceilings the MFF regulation