Mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework

EESC opinion: Mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework

Key points

The EESC:

  • considers that the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is an important tool for financing programmes and actions in all policy areas, in line with the EU's long-term priorities;
  • fully supports the urgent need to reach a swift agreement on the mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, on the basis of:
    • providing continued support for Ukraine, giving the country the funding it needs for its reconstruction and to fulfil the requirements on its path towards EU accession;
    • giving the EU the necessary financial means to fulfil its political priorities in areas such as the green and digital transitions, migration, health, the European Pillar of Social Rights and economic recovery;
    • ensuring the rule of law both in the EU Member States and in the reconstruction process in Ukraine, with funding conditionality linked to reforms;
    • introducing effective monitoring measures to oversee programme implementation, involving civil society organisations in the process;
    • broadly involving civil society in the design, planning and implementation of the MFF programme.
  • finds that the changes proposed in the revision are limited, showing a lack of ambition and amounting to merely patching up the framework. Moreover, the revision is completely disconnected from the European Commission's strategic foresight work;
  • considers that the revision does not address the strained budget's effects on employment and companies and the reduced purchasing power of the MFF due to high inflation. Key issues such as Europe's ageing society and changing demographics are also missing and the EESC believes that the MFF should better reflect all the EU's main priorities;
  • believes the proposed Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) programme is far too small in scale and scope compared to similar initiatives in other countries;
  • recommends long-term strategies, including creating a sustainable fiscal framework minimising exposure to interest rates, allocating administrative resources more efficiently and incorporating preventive measures for unforeseen events;
  • also calls for a review of the expenditure ceiling accounting framework, to prioritise revenues, which grow in tandem with actual inflation while expenditures grow at a fixed 2% trend.