EU budgets: More resources and greater flexibility to deal with emerging crises
The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which sets the framework and spending ceilings for the EU’s annual budget, needs to be revised to allow for additional funding and greater flexibility. If this is not done, the EU will not be able deal with the unprecedented number of challenges that Europe is facing. This was the clear message from the European Parliament today, which passed a resolution outlining the Parliament’s position on the Commission's proposal on the revision of the MFF 2014-2020 and Parliament’s draft EU budget for 2017.
S&D vice-president Isabelle Thomas, co-author of the Parliament’s report on revision of the MFF, said:
“Under the current MFF there are not sufficient resources to deal with the crises Europe is facing. If we are serious about tackling the refugee and migration situation, stimulating stagnant economies and tackling youth unemployment, then an ambitious revision of the MFF is absolutely essential. Therefore, we regret that the European Commission did not propose any upward revision of the current MFF ceilings in its new proposal.
“We need more resources to deal with the scale of the challenges we are facing. We need boosted flexibility instruments, such as a newly proposed EU Crisis reserve, so we have the funds needed to deal with new issues rather than trying to cover it all with existing funds. We set out a clear position earlier this year calling for increased spending in specific areas where it is desperately needed. This will be the basis of our negotiating position with the Council; we back ambitious reform of the MFF.”
S&D MEP Jens Geier, the lead negotiator for the Parliament on the 2017 budget, said:
“The EU is facing an unprecedented number of different challenges. If we are serious about getting to grips with these then we need a well-funded EU budget. When we first negotiated the MFF for 2014-2020 in 2013, there were far fewer refugees arriving in Europe per year. Now the number is well over a million. We have to recognise that circumstances have changed. We need a comprehensive revision of the MFF and a more ambitious EU budget. The current MFF is outdated.
“This is what we will be pushing for in the upcoming negotiations with the Council on the budget for 2017. Youth unemployment is still far too high in Europe. We are calling for an extra €1.5 billion to be made available to fund the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), which should be made possible by revising the MFF.”
Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, S&D spokesperson for the budget committee, said:
“We cannot face new crises and priorities on top of the existing ones without a comprehensive revision of the MFF. We need to start negotiating both files together as soon as possible because the unemployed, researchers and refugees need an answer without any further delay.
“We need to see more resources dedicated to boosting development and tackling the root causes of the refugee crisis. We are pleased that the Parliament today backed our call for an extra €497 million to fund humanitarian aid, development cooperation and boosting peace and stability in the EU’s neighbourhood.”
Please find the broadcast quality video statement from Isabelle Thomas, co-author of the Parliament’s report on revision of the MFF, here
Note to editors:
Negotiations will now begin with the Council on both the MFF and the budget for 2017. As these two issues are intrinsically linked, Parliament will insist on these two files being negotiated in parallel, with an agreement before the end of the year.