EU's budget planning on the Council's table
Negotiations for the EU's next long-term budget framework are about to kick off following presentation of the Commission's proposals by Commissioners Janusz Lewandowski and Maroš Šefčovič at the General Affairs Council on 18 July.
This new "multiannual financial framework" (MFF) will cover the period from 2014 to 2020.
The MFF limits EU spending over a fixed period of time by setting annual caps for
- EU expenditure as a whole
- each category of expenditure.
It thus imposes budgetary discipline on the European Union by making sure that its annual budget does not exceed the agreed ceilings. At the same time, it translates EU policy priorities into figures.
Under the Commission proposal, payments over the seven-year period would correspond to one percent of the EU's Gross National Income.
The Commission suggests focusing EU expenditure under the next MFF on funding with particularly high added value compared to what can be done at national level. It also proposes new priorities, such as cross-border infrastructure for energy, transport and communications, research, and secure external borders.
The Lisbon Treaty is the first EU Treaty to explicitly mention the MFF. Under its provisions, the MFF needs the unanimous support of the Council and the consent of the European Parliament. The current MFF is part of an inter-institutional agreement adopted by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission.
Ministers for European Affairs are expected to have a preliminary discussion on the proposals during their informal meeting in Sopot, Poland, on 28 and 29 July. The aim is to have the MFF agreed before the end of 2012, in order to have enough time to put in place all the programmes and projects which will be financed under the framework.
Press release (pdf)
Press conference webcast
Communication from the Commission - A Budget for Europe 2020 (pdf)
Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 website (on Europa server)
Financial Programming and Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski's webpages (on Europa server)