Negotiations relating to the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2021-2027)

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Publication Date 2019-
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Overview, information and analyses relating to negotiations positions of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027, as well as related political discussions.

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The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) sets the maximum level of resources for each of the seven major headings of EU spending for a period of seven years. In addition to a financial plan, it sets the EU’s long-term priorities.

In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals for the MFF relating to the period 2021-2027. The proposed multiannual budget amounts to 1.11% of EU27 Gross National Income (GNI). The European Parliament argued that the proposal was insufficient and its position - adopted in November 2018 - estimated that the ceiling should amount to 1.3% of EU27 GNI. The Council of the European Union was not yet able to agree on a common position due to disagreements between Member States on size and other aspects of the MFF. In October 2019, the Parliament adopted a Resolution urging the Member States to engage in negotiations, as well as confirming and updating where needed its negotiating mandate. On the same month, the European Commission also adopted a Communication highlighting the need for further work to be done by the co-legislators.

The matter was discussed by the European Council in October 2019, but no agreement was reached on a negotiating position. On 5 December 2019, the presidency of the Council of the European Union presented a so-called 'Negotiating Box' which included a budget amounting to 1.07% of the EU27 GNI, ahead of a meeting of the European Council. Yet again, no agreement was reached between national leaders. Member States appeared generally divided between those vowing to shrink the overall multiannual budget, and those who fear such decision would affect provisions on agriculture and cohesion policy.

On 14 February, the President of the European Council unveiled a new proposal for discussion which sets national contributions at 1.074% of GNI. A special European Council meeting to discuss the MFF 2021-2027 was held on 20-21 February. The European Parliament's plenary session held a discussion ahead of that summit on 12 February. Media reported on the difficulties in finding a compromise between those rejecting substantial cuts in certain areas and the so-called 'Frugal Four' defending a stricter line which would not go beyond 1% GNI. Despite the efforts, the national leaders were not able to reach an agreement on the long-term budget.

The discussion on the MFF was greatly affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, as different stakeholders called for it to take into account the socioeconomic needs and potential imbalances of a post-coronavirus scenario. On 27 May, the European Commission unveiled a revamped proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 in the framework of the so-called Europe's Recovery Plan.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Politico, 04/11/2019: The EU’s budget tribes explained
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Politico, 06/12/2019: What rich countries get wrong about the EU budget
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ECFR: Commentary, 13/12/2019: Table scrap: Budget talks in a fragmented Europe
EPRS: Briefing, January 2020: The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework in figures
Politico, 02/02/2020: Costa grabs role as regions’ champion in EU budget fight
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Politico, 14/02/2020: 8 takeaways from the new EU budget proposal
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EPRS: Briefing, February 2020: The European Council and the 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework
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Forbes, 20/02/2020: Is The EU Budget Ready To Back The Green Deal?
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CEPS: In Brief, 20/02/2020: Towards a new MFF
Politico, 20/02/2020: Mario Monti: Don’t let the ‘frugals’ rule the budget
Politico, 20/02/2020: Parliament’s EU budget strategy: Go big, then go home
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Euro|topics, February 2020: Tough negotiations over EU budget
Reuters, 20/02/2020: Frugal Four vs Friends of Cohesion: The EU's baffling budget battle
Euro|topics, February 2020: EU summit ends without agreement

EurActiv, 18/10/2019: Summit concludes with no progress on EU’s long-term budget
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Reuters, 18/10/2019: EU leaders split over $1.2 trillion post-Brexit budget
Politico, 30/10/2019: Commission gives up on EU budget deal in 2019
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EurActiv, 04/12/2019: Finland aims to put €10bn more in CAP’s second pillar
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Politico, 04/12/2019: Von der Leyen hits out at ’severe cuts’ in EU budget plan
Total Croatia News, 13/12/2019: Croatia Tasked with Defining European Council's Position for Conference on Future of Europe
Politico, 25/01/2020: Charles Michel calls special summit on EU budget
EurActiv, 27/01/2020: Divided EU leaders to hammer out budget at February summit
Politico, 01/02/2020: 15 countries fight to protect EU cohesion funding
Deutsche Welle, 01/02/2020: Austria: Sebastian Kurz threatens to veto EU post-Brexit budget
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NL Times, 06/02/2020: Netherlands will not contribute more to EU budget, Dutch PM says
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Reuters, 07/02/2020: EU goes into meeting frenzy ahead of Feb. 20 summit on next seven-year budget
EurActiv, 12/02/2020: Commission warns of Green Deal failure if Transition Fund not well financed
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EurActiv, 14/02/2020: Michel offers flexible EU budget to convince sceptics
The Irish Times, 14/02/2020: Charles Michel proposes EU budget compromise ahead of summit
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EurActiv, 17/02/2020: Poland’s just transition bonus cut 50% under latest EU budget proposal
Bloomberg, 17/02/2020: Germany Demands Compromise From All Sides in EU Budget Talks, 18/02/2020: The Netherlands sets out ‘frugal’ position ahead of key EU budget summit
EUObserver, 18/02/2020: EU countries enter final phase of budget talks
Reuters, 18/02/2020: French farmers sweat over subsidies in post-Brexit EU budget talks
Agriland, 18/02/2020: MFF proposal ‘disappointing’ – EU Parliament budget committee
EurActiv, 19/02/2020: Carbon levy, plastic tax hailed as potential game-changers for EU budget
EurActiv, 19/02/2020: Pressure mounts on EU leaders to reach MFF deal within days
Politico, 19/02/2020: Charles Michel plots ‘miracle’ EU budget deal
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The Wall Street Journal, 19/02/2020: EU Nations Square Off for Budget Clash After Britain’s Exit
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BBC News, 20/02/2020: Brexit complicates EU budget plans
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RTÉ News, 20/02/2020: Michel confident EU leaders will make progress on budget
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Deutsche Welle, 20/02/2020: Leaders roll up for the EU budget circus
EUObserver, 21/02/2020: Plastic and carbon proposals to help plug Brexit budget gap
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EUObserver, 21/02/2020: Sassoli repeats EU budget rejection warning
RTÉ News, 21/02/2020: Significant gaps as EU budget negotiations to resume, 21/02/2020: Dutch stick to their guns over EU budget, no progress so far says Rutte
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Deutsche Welle, 21/02/2020: European Union leaders fail to agree on new 7-year budget
BBC News, 21/02/2020: EU budget: Talks end amid stand-off between 'frugal' and other nations
The Guardian, 21/02/2020: EU summit collapses as leaders struggle to fill €75bn Brexit hole
Reuters, 21/02/2020: Macron to farmers: France stood firm on EU farm budget
The Irish Times, 21/02/2020: EU budget: Varadkar says Ireland willing to pay more but not at farmers’ expense
EUObserver, 21/02/2020: EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock
EurActiv, 21/02/2020: EU leaders fail to agree on first post-Brexit budget as divisions grow
Reuters, 21/02/2020: 'Differences too big,' says Merkel as EU budget summit fails
EUObserver, 21/02/2020: No breakthrough at EU budget summit

General Secretariat of the Council: Multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027: negotiations
European Commission: EU budget for the future
European Parliament: Multiannual Financial Framework: Q&A
European Parliament: Useful information on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: MFF - 2021-2027 MFF
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Resolution on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and own resources: time to meet citizens' expectations
EPRS: Briefing, June 2019: Multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027: The future of EU finances
European Parliament: Press Release, 10/10/2019: Delaying long-term EU investment plan would harm citizens and businesses
Finnish Council Presidency: Press Release, 05/12/2019: Finnish Presidency proposes greater EU investment in building a sustainable future
European Parliament: Press Release, 07/02/2020: Long-term EU budget: The Union’s ambitions must be matched with sufficient reliable funding
European Parliament: Press Release, 12/02/2020: More than money: the long-term EU budget is a tool for Europe’s future
European Commission: News, 12/02/2020: Von der Leyen on EU long-term budget: our opportunity to make Europe fit for the future
European Commission: Speech by President von der Leyen in the Plenary of the European Parliament at the debate on the special meeting of the European Council of 20 February 2020 on the Multiannual Financial Framework (12 February 2020)
European Parliament: Press Release, 19/02/2020: President Michel’s MFF proposal not acceptable for Parliament
European Parliament: Press Release, 11/03/2020: Long-term EU budget: It is not possible to do more with less, say MEPs

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