Our last briefing note broke down the top down political implications of the proposed Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). This one dives deep into how the budget is divided, what the timeline is for its passing and what the reactions have been so far.

The European Commission released on the 2nd of May 2018 its proposal for the next MFF. which will cover the years 2021 to 2027. The MFF sets the budget of the European Union for the next seven years and determines how it will be allocated to its various programmes. As such, the MFF reaffirms the EU’s political priorities and defines how they will be achieved. Much awaited due to the impending Brexit, the proposal can be perceived as a bold move by the Commission, seeking to increase the EU budget and investing in new priorities such as defence or digital transformation, while cutting funds in flagship programmes.

Despite the sizeable gap created by Brexit, the European Commission proposes to set the EU budget up to €1.279 trillion, which accounts for 1.11% of the EU27’s gross national income. This ambitious amount is well-aligned with the Commission’s motto for this MFF – ‘doing more with less’ – and aims to face two main challenges: dealing with the financial consequences of the UK’s withdrawal, and providing additional resources to tackle the EU’s new priorities.

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