Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020

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EESK:s yttrande: Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020

Key points:

The EESC

  • recognises the high European added value of the programmes where the MFF 2021-2027 concentrates the main increases in expenditure.
  • however questions the fact that these increases are made at the cost of strong cuts in cohesion policy (-10%) and the Common Agricultural Policy – CAP (-15%).
  • proposes that the expenditure and revenue figure of the MFF reach 1.3% of GNI. Europeans need more (and better) Europe.
  • expresses its disagreement with the reduction, at constant prices, of 12% of the amount of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and 46% of the Cohesion Fund (CF).
  • is in disagreement with the reduction in real terms of 6% in the proposed commitment for the European Social Fund (ESF+), especially given the recent inter-institutional proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). A specific programme should be established to assist Member States to implement the Gothenburg Declaration on the EPSR.
  • considers that the current financing of cohesion policies (the sum of ERDF, CF and ESF) should be maintained in the MFF 2021-2027, at least with the same resources.
  • welcomes the Commission's mentions of key strategic investments that hold the key to Europe's future prosperity and its leadership on the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • recognises the substantial increases in commitments for Environment and Climate Action (+46%), whilst finding the share of the budget dedicated to it unambitious.
  • thinks that the planned commitments to an investment stabilisation mechanism for euro area members hit by country-specific shocks are far too low to make a difference during a crisis.
  • questions the proposed cuts (-15%) in planned commitments for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that will make it impossible to implement a model of sustainable rural development.
  • regrets that the Commission's MFF post-2020 proposal only includes a part of the proposals of the High Level Group on Own Resources (HLGOR) and the European Parliament.
  • commends the proposition of a basket of new own resources. However, it thinks that the current proposals are not likely to result in sufficiently high autonomous, transparent and fair own resources.
  • is in favour increasing the share of revenue from own resources and to ensure that methods of raising revenue complement and reinforce the EU's policy objectives.
  • draws the attention of the European institutions to the complexity of making all these own resources operational in the period 2021-2027.
  • hails the proposed elimination of rebates (or cheques), to countries that had been making large contributions to the financing of the EU budget.
  • supports the proposal to make the receipt of EU funds by the Member States conditional upon respect for the principle of the rule of law, and thinks that this conditionality could be extended to the other principles linked to the Rule of Law contained in the EU Treaties.
  • welcomes the support for investment provided through the InvestEU guarantee, but regrets that the level of resources does not take into account the large EU investment deficit.
  • expresses its concern that a rigid interpretation of the terms of the Stability and Growth Pact and other macro-economic conditions, as well as of the co-financing requirements for cohesion policy funds, makes it difficult for the EU Member States in most need to access this funding.
  • reiterates that the European Semester should be at the centre of implementing EU budgets, using as much as possible the flexibility of the new MFF.
  • urges the EU institutions and the governments of the Member States to intensify the work in relation to the post-2020 MFF, so that it can be approved before the next European elections.