MFF proposal ‘not acceptable’ to EU Parliament

The European Parliament’s budget negotiating team has stated that the proposed new EU budget – the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) – is “not acceptable”.

The parliament’s MFF negotiating team, which represents MEPs in the budgetary talk, has expressed its opposition to the proposed long-term budget for 2021 to 2027.

“Despite welcoming the contact we have had with the President of the European Council Charles Michel over the past few weeks, his proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 falls well below the European Parliament’s expectations and those of the citizens,” the negotiating team said in a statement.

President Michel is treating as a blueprint the harmful proposal prepared at technical level by the Finnish presidency of the council back in December 2019.

“Where we would expect significant investment to deliver the Green Deal, the digital transition and a stronger Europe, President Michel confirms or deepens the cuts to funding for agriculture, cohesion, research, infrastructure investments, digitalisation, SMEs [small and medium enterprises]…and many other areas,” the statement said.

“The negotiating team therefore opposes this proposal and expects the European Council not to adopt conclusions on this basis,” the statement concluded.

Opposition to this deal has already been expressed on a sectoral basis by the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

Norbert Lins, the chairperson of that committee, said on Monday, February 17, during a sitting of that committee, that the EU’s agricultural budget is “not a honey pot for all and sundry”.

Though the MFF proposal was not on the agenda for that meeting, Lins addressed the issue briefly at the outset of the meeting.

“I think many would agree with me if I say that this is not an acceptable offer, and we need a substantial improvement on that,” he argued.

Lins added: “The agricultural budget is not a honey pot for all and sundry, and so the member states need to add more to what they are offering, and not make any confusions between the new policies and the ‘modern policies’, as they are called.”