On the Revision of the EU’s long-term budget 2021-2027 (MFF)
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On the Revision of the EU’s long-term budget 2021-2027 (MFF)

I welcome the EU27’s unanimous agreement on a revision of the long-term budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) which includes the new €50 billion ‘Ukraine Facility’. Ukraine must benefit from this much-needed aid as soon as possible (with a potential first payment in March). With negotiations underway, the European Council’s position will be fully scrutinised. In initial comments, EPP Group MEPs have welcomed the Council’s agreement to reinforce budgetary allocations for migration challenges as well as plans to increase budget flexibility, for example. However, MEPs also voiced concerns over cutbacks proposed by the Council in certain areas. The Council proposes redeploying funds from important EU programmes such as EU4Health (€1 billion), Horizon (€2.1 billion), and from direct management of the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion funds (€1.1 billion). However, redeployments from CAP and Cohesion funds will not reduce national envelopes managed by the Member States. Rising, borrowing costs related to the Union’s COVID-19 recovery fund, NextGenerationEU, added enormous strain to the already overstretched MFF. The EPP Group has called for a sustainable plan to cover increased interest costs on debt repayments (EU Recovery Instrument/EURI line). Our call forced a change of approach to the repayment plan, which safeguards the direct management programmes from around €10 billion of cuts that would have been made between 2025 and 2027 without this new approach.

Negotiations between Parliament and the Council are underway with a plenary vote on a final deal potentially by the end of February 2024. Parliament must consent to the adoption of any revised MFF.