Multiannual financial framework: The way ahead
© Fotolia, 2013
On 7-8 February, the European Council mandated the Irish Presidency to rapidly take forward discussions with the European Parliament on the MFF and to engage constructively on issues of concern to it.
The Irish Presidency is currently acting at the highest political level in order to secure an overall agreement with the European Parliament on key issues of the MFF package.
In parallel to these political discussions the Irish Presidency aims to rapidly bring forward legislative work:
- by translating the agreement of the European Council into the draft MFF regulation and a draft interinstitutional agreement to be presented to member states and discussed with the European Parliament; since the MFF regulation needs the consent of the European Parliament and the interinstitutional agreement its approval, the content of the two texts might change, subject of an overall political agreement with the Parliament;
- by proposing in close cooperation with the Commission adjustments to the around 70 sector specific spending programmes financed under the MFF; much of the legislative work with the European Parliament on these files is already well under way but has to be finalised. These acts are adopted by the Council and the European Parliament under the ordinary legislative procedure in co-decision.
- by taking forward work on the own resources decision and its implementing measures. The own resources decision is adopted by the Council by unanimity after having consulted the European Parliament and must be ratified by all national parliaments.
The Irish Presidency's objective is to facilitate the European Parliament's consent to the MFF regulation and its approval of the interinstitutional agreement, and to secure agreement on all sector specific legislation. This would allow spending programmes to start on time at the beginning of 2014.