29/05/2012 - General Affairs Council (GAC)
Multiannual Financial Framework: opening the negotiating box
At the meeting of the General Affairs Council on 29 May 2012, work on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) was taken a step further. Ministers started discussions on the basis of a document - known as the negotiating box - containing the central issues and options as regards both expenditure and revenue.
Nicolai Wammen, Danish minister for European Affairs
© European Union, 2012
The negotiating box, drafted by the Danish Presidency, is based on the orientation debates held since July 2011 and will be continually updated. The leaders of the 27 member states will discuss the negotiating box at the meeting of the European Council on 28 and 29 June.
Ministers welcomed the draft which for the first time covers all elements of the MFF for 2014-2020, including the revenue side, as a good basis for further discussion. While there was general agreement that the MFF is to be a major tool for boosting growth and jobs in the EU, details still need to be worked out. The negotiating box was "well received," said Nicolai Wammen, the Danish minister for European Affairs, after the meeting, but he cautioned that "it would be premature to have figures during the Danish presidency".
Work will continue at an informal Council meeting on 10-11 June in Horsens (Denmark), where, in addition to preparing the June European Council, ministers will reflect "on how the MFF can contribute to enhancing growth, employment and competitiveness", Mr Wammen said.
The objective is to reach an agreement before the end of this year.
The negotiating box (doc)
Press release (pdf)
Council debate (video in several languages)
Media page (videos)
Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 (Commission webpages)
Financial framework 2014-2020: first discussion on the negotiating box