MFF revision: Greater resources needed to tackle refugee and growth crises in EU

MFF revision: 1.2 billion to tackle youth unemployment but more ambition needed, S&D vice-president Isabelle Thomas, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, #TaxJustice,

The Commission’s upcoming revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) needs to make clear that more resources are needed to tackle the multiple crises Europe is facing. That was the clear message from the European Parliament before the Commission puts forward its legislative proposal in autumn 2016. The MFF covers the period of 2014-2020 and provides the guidelines and structure for the EU’s annual budgets in that period.

S&D vice-president Isabelle Thomas, co-author of the Parliament’s report, said:

“It is clear that the current MFF has already been pushed to its limits in the first two years. If we are serious about tackling the refugee and migration crisis, stimulating stagnant economies and tackling youth unemployment, then an ambitious revision of the MFF is absolutely essential. This revision of the MFF must take stock of these crises but also take into account other political initiatives that were not anticipated at the time of the MFF adoption."

“We are calling for increased spending in specific areas where it is desperately needed. Growth in many countries is still far too slow and unemployment, especially among the young, is far too high. We need to see the MFF revised upwards in these areas if we are serious about tackling these issues.

"This report is a first step to rebuild a serious and sincere budget for the EU and make substantial progress on genuine own resources. We remain determined to achieve those objectives."

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D Group spokesperson for the budget, said:

“When we first negotiated the MFF for 2014-2020 in 2013, there were a few hundred thousand refugees arriving in Europe per year. This number is now well over a million. We have to recognise that circumstances have changed and that we need more resources to deal with the scale of the challenges we are facing.

“We also need to look at the way the move forward with how the EU is funded. The yearly spectacle of governments, Parliament and Commission arguing for months is a ridiculous way to run the budget of a major international organisation. We believe strongly that the EU should have the ability to raise more of its own resources, both ensuring clearer and more consistent funding, as well as making it more directly accountable to citizens.

“The current MFF also had to deal with an abnormal backlog of unpaid bills from the previous MFF period. We must ensure that this does not reoccur this time. Therefore we are calling for an upward revision of the overall payment ceiling and the establishment of a new payment plan to avoid the mess we were left with this time.”

Note for editors

The Commission is expected to put forward its proposals on the revision of the MFF in the autumn. Any revision would be dealt with by the special legislative procedure - requiring a unanimous vote in Council if there is an upward revision of the ceilings and the consent of Parliament by a simple majority of members.