Negotiators of the European Parliament, EU Member States and the European Commission reached a breakthrough today on the next long-term EU budget.
"We are happy that we finally have a deal on the structure of the budget for the next seven years. It was high time, because Europe needs to act in these difficult times", said Jan Olbrycht MEP and José Manuel Fernandes MEP, who negotiated the long-term EU budget on behalf of the EPP Group.
"The EPP Group, from the beginning of the negotiations, was fighting for an increase for the most important programmes for European citizens in order to secure their welfare and safety. We are satisfied that Europe will get €16 billion more for flagship EU programmes on research, health, Erasmus, external border protection, investments, neighbourhood policy, humanitarian aid, civil society projects and culture. Through hard negotiation efforts, we managed to correct dangerous budget cuts and better prepare the EU for unforeseen circumstances and new challenges”, said Jan Olbrycht MEP. The EPP Group would have wanted increases for other EU flagship programmes as well, but Member States were not ready to do so.
Today's agreement increases Parliament's oversight of the planned Recovery Fund in the annual budgetary procedure. It also binds the Council to a roadmap for the introduction of new direct revenues to sustain the EU budget now and in the future.
“By 2026, we will have a basket of new revenues that should be sufficient to cover the cost of the Recovery Fund’s debt with the aim of not having cuts in funds and programmes. We are pleased that we have a binding agreement because these new revenues will reduce pressure on EU Member States to fund the EU budget and cover the costs and interest rates of the new Recovery Fund. We will not pass the burden of the interest rates to future European budgets and to the next generations”, explained José Manuel Fernandes MEP.
One of the preconditions for today's deal was last week's agreement to make respect for the rule of law a condition for Member States to receive EU funding. "The budget, the Recovery Fund, new revenues and the rule of law conditionality are one package for us. Parliament will ratify today's deal only if Member States stick to all parts of the agreement", said Siegfried Mureşan MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for budgetary issues.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States