S&D Budget Newsletter - February 2018

piles of coins with letters BUDGET on top


Multiannual Financial Framework and Own resources:the moment of truth for the Union

The works on the Union’s next Multiannual Financial Framework are gaining momentum. While the European Commission had presented in its reflection paper the first big lines for discussion at the end of June 2017, the Parliament is preparing to vote its objectives for the future MFF post-2020 negotiations in an own-initiative report (INI), for which I am the co-rapporteur, together with the EPP MEP Jan Olbrycht. The key points of the INI are:

  • Increasing the Union’s budget and raising the MFF-expenditure ceilings to 1,3% of the Union’s GNI
  • A continuous and reinforced funding of the Union’s policies and programmes;
  • New additional policies must be accompanied by additional financial resources, in line with article 311 of the Treaty;
  • The introduction of new own resources remains the only option for adequately financing and reaching an ambitious MFF;
  • Enhancing the budgetary flexibility in order to cope with unforeseen crises;
  • Reiterating the principle of budgetary unity in light of the multiplication of extra-budgetary mechanisms;
  • To move progressively towards a 5+5 period for the future MFFs, including a mandatory mid-term revision, so that every newly elected parliament has the possibility to participate at either negotiating or revising the MFF;
  • A simplification of the MFF and a restructuring of its headings, in order to enhance its legibility for EU citizens.


In light of diminishing revenues due to Brexit, as well as new emerging political priorities, the European budget is proving untenable. Only new own resources will allow for the budget to stay sustainable. We have therefore decided to link the procedure on the next MFF with the Deprez-Lewandowski report on the reform of the own resources system, which offers different possible solutions, such as a financial transaction tax, a tax on multinational companies and carbon adjustment measures at EU borders.

The two reports, which are closely linked not only by their structure, were very well received when presented at the Committee on Budgets on 24 January 2018. The BUDG Committee will vote on the two reports on 22 February 2018 and the Plenary vote will follow in March. The EU Commission is subsequently expected to present its proposals on 29 May 2018, in order to allow for the negotiation of a formal agreement with the Council at the beginning of 2019, before the European elections.

Europe’s future is at stake. The strengthening of the Union’s budget is essential in order to give it the necessary means to fulfil its ambitions. The Parliament needs to be fully involved at each stage of the negotiations and it will be free to give or not its final approval to the agreement. The Socialist and Democrats Group shall not consent to the next MFF without having obtained substantial progress on the own resources issue.

Isabelle Thomas, Member of the European Parliament vice-president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, Standing co-rapporteur on the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020

2.New own resources for a new and progressive Europe

The debate on the new Own Resources will be one of the most important themes of this parliamentary term. Since its establishment, the EU has been struggling to gain its independence from the decisions of the Member States. The UK Rebate, but also all the corrections granted to some states, is the apex of a budgetary logic, which is not based on effective results but on the erratic principle of the so-called “juste retour”. With the own resources reform we hope to change this approach. The EU must become able to raise its own taxes and having them at disposal for its political priorities, just as any other federal entity in the world. The EU, as strange as it may seem, is the only political entity in the world that does not have a real parliamentary control on the revenue side of its budget but is always tied to the political decisions of the Council, therefore, the Member States.

Our aim, obviously, is not to raise new taxes from the ordinary citizens but to ensure that the big corporations pay what is due.

The Parliament proposal will focus on just a small basket of new resources, like the taxation of digital companies, the carbon tax and, as Commissioner Oettinger proposed, a form of taxation on non-recyclable plastic materials.

We still have a long way to go and such an ambitious reform will not be accomplished within few weeks or months. We, the progressive Members of the European Parliament, will treat this dossier as an absolute priority, in order to build a fairer, smarter and more efficient European Union.

Daniele VIOTTI, Member of the European Parliament, S&D Rapporteur on the General Budget 2019 and S&D Shadow Rapporteur on the Reform of the own resources system

3. Conference with socialists and social democrats from Member States’ parliaments on The current challenges of the EU budget European Parliament, Brussels - 7 March 2018

Every year, the S&D Group hosts an interparliamentary conference on the financing of the EU budgets in the European Parliament in Brussels, which aims at discussing major EU budgetary issues among our political family. The meeting this year is of particular importance, as the EU is about to start the negotiations on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework and the reform of the own resources system. Therefore, the S&D Group will host a conference on this very subject on 7 March, to which socialists and social democrats from Member States’ national parliaments have been invited.

Moreover, this event aims at strengthening the ties between the different national parliamentarians of our political family and the Members of the S&D Group in view of finding a common position on key issues concerning the EU budget.

The conference will start at 15:00h and will be chaired by Ms. Isabelle Thomas, S&D Vice President on Budget and Cohesion Policy, Ms. Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D Coordinator in the Committee on Budgets and Daniele Viotti, S&D Rapporteur on the General Budget 2019 and Shadow Rapporteur on the Reform of the own resources system.

The conference will take place in room ASP A3G3 and interpretation will be provided.

4. Insights into the EP’s Committee on Budgets

On 24 January 2018, S&D Group’s Vice-President Isabelle Thomas’ presented her INI report on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) post-2020 at the Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament in the presence of Commissioner Oettinger.



* Translation:
Prepared to defend my 3 reports on the activities of the @EIB and on the investments the EU is making in neighbouring countries in order to meet the sustainable development goals and avoid that people have to flee their home countries #SDGs #EUInvestment #ELM

* Translation:
Three main issues on own resources. To attain 50% Own Resources in the Budget, we need a new financial transaction tax; a new European Digital Agenda; and a new Carbon Tax on polluting materials.  #statiunitideuropa (#unitedstatesofeurope)


S&D Group vision for the 2019 EU Budget

S&D Group vision for EU 2019 budget