February EU Council meeting on the MFF: double disappointment on lack of agreement and proposed cuts

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Bricks with EU flag under construction, text on the cuts of the MFF

The Council summit on the 20th February was a double disappointment: on the one hand because there was no progress in defining a position that would allow it to deal with the negotiation with the European Parliament; and on the other because of the terms in which the debate was presented. The most concrete proposals on the table - that of President Michel (1,074% of the European GNI) and that of the so-called "4 frugal countries" (1.0% of the GNI) - would suppose strong additional cuts to those already made by the Juncker Commission's (1.11% of the GNI) to the current MFF. Moreover, none of them addressed the key issue of increasing EU's own resources.

Thus it seems impossible to approach to the position of the EP and the EESC which demand more resources -1.3% of the GNI - and for which own resources should provide at least 50% of the European Budget. It must be clearly stated that the objectives of the Commission's program, in particular, those related to the European Green Deal and its fair transition, cannot be achieved with any of the proposals proposed by the Council.

Answering Brexit with less Europe is extraordinarily shortsighted. Down that path, the only winners will be the far right nationalists.

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