Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

The EU Budget


The state of play on the EU MFF 2014-2020 interinstitutional negotiations

18 October 2012
Claire Dhéret (Senior Policy Analyst and FutureLab Europe Programme Leader), Andreea Martinovici (External authors) and Fabian Zuleeg (Chief Executive and Chief Economist)



This report by Claire Dhéret, Fabian Zuleeg and Andreea Martinovici, under the Framework Contract with the Committee of the Regions (CoR) on the EU Budget, analyses the state of play in the MFF 2014 – 2020 interinstitutional negotiations and proposes some figures for the different headings of the MFF. By outlining the state of play in the negotiations and looking at the positions taken by the Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and the CoR on the ‘negotiating box’ proposed by the Danish Presidency, the authors recall that the MFF package comprises three parts: the MFF regulation, the own resources legislative acts and the sector specific acts.  However, the MFF is more than three separate blocks of legislation with different adoption procedures. It is a ‘political power game’, where these three core elements become interdependent, as each institution attempts to compromise its own views as little as possible.

The authors also argue that one of the underlying causes for the divergences among and within the institutions involved in negotiations seems to be the differing understanding of the role of the EU budget – as an investment budget that can invigorate growth or as a spending budget financed by Member States (MS) deeply affected by austerity measures. At the same time, the lack of an official Council position on the MFF 2014 – 2020 makes any estimation of the final outcome all the more difficult. In addition, the fact that MS express their views without coherent and consistent references – talking sometimes about constant prices, at other times about real prices, sometimes about commitments and at other times about payments – makes the debate difficult to follow. Nevertheless, the authors propose budget figures for the negotiating box under both a positive and negative scenario, based on the input provided by the current orientation of the debates and the views expressed by the CoR in its various MFF-related opinions.

To read the paper, please click here.

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