A new troubled EU budget

The European Commission unveiled its proposal for the future of the EU Budget: the Multi-annual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 with a €1,135bn budget. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission, presented the communication as “an opportunity to shape our future as a new, ambitious Union of 27 bound together by solidarity”, a pragmatic and long-term strategy. However, the proposed text raised several criticisms. This EU budget will be the first MFF after Brexit, and the Commission is pushing for a bigger and increased financial plan, for a smaller Europe. This fact is raising concerns for member States as Germany and France which are two of the EU biggest monetary contributors.

On the other hand, member States as Poland and Hungary are more worried by another major change in the new MFF: the access to EU funding linked to the rule of law. This new conditionality will allow the EU to reduce or even suspend member States’ access to funding if the rule of law criteria is not respected. Another point of the proposal which has been strongly opposed, especially from farmers, is the reduction of 5% for the budget allocated for the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), with direct payments for farmers cut by 4%. Finally, the Commission increased funding for the Erasmus+ programme, research and development, and defence. Despite this increase in funding for research and innovation, environmental organisations are already speaking about a missed opportunity, since the new MFF seems to lack the ambition to address climate change and achieve the EU sustainable targets.

Read the EU press release