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Revised MFF can help restore EU’s budgetary power
“The European Commission has heeded EPP Group warnings that a substantial revision of the EU’s long-term budget was urgently needed. Our call for a solid, sustainable plan to cover increased interest costs on debt repayments under the Union’s COVID-19 recovery fund has forced a change of approach, though the problem is not fully resolved", said Jan Olbrycht MEP, in welcoming today’s proposal for a revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
“Today, the Commission aims to fix its past mistake by removing the extra cost of rising interest rates on money borrowed to finance ‘NextGenerationEU’ from main budget lines and placing it over and above MFF ceilings. The EU Budget is already overstretched. Rising, unpredictable borrowing costs have added enormous strain. If this problem is not resolved, we risk billions of Euros being cut from flagship programmes like Erasmus+. It is disappointing that the entire Recovery Instrument debt cost was not completely taken out of the main budget headings. Agreed EU programmes should not have to compete against it for funding.”
The EPP Group stands with Ukraine and fully endorses EU plans to provide further financial aid to the country, and looks forward to analysing the newly-proposed 'Ukraine Facility'. The much-needed €15 billion in newly-proposed funding to address external and internal migration pressures, and strengthen partnerships with key third countries, is also welcome.
The current MFF lacked flexibility from the start and many important programmes are underfinanced, according to Olbrycht. Since then, the EU has been hit by unforeseen crises including war in Ukraine. The EPP Group has been calling for substantial reinforcements supported by fresh money. Today’s focus on boosting competitiveness through the creation of the STEP platform with modest additional funds directed towards InvestEU, Horizon Europe, the Innovation Fund and the European Defence Fund, goes in the right direction. Again, the EPP Group points out that all aspects will require close scrutiny in the coming days.
“This revision offers the chance to restore the EU's budgetary power. But there is no time to waste. We will insist that the revised MFF is in place by 1 January 2024”, Olbrycht added.
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The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States
Press Officer for Budget and Structural Policies Working Group, Budgets Committee. National press, Irish Media
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