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Sixty Minute Briefing
The extraordinary Summit on the next MFF

Wednesday, 26 February 2020


Gert Jan Koopman
Director-General of DG Budget, European Commission


Marta Pilati
Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

On 26th February 2020 the EPC held a Sixty Minute Briefing with Gert Jan Koopman, Director-General of DG Budget in the European Commission. Mr Koopman stated that the failure of EU leaders at the Extraordinary Summit to reach an agreement is not exceptional, but it is already late in the day. In the best-case scenario, EU leaders could finalize an agreement in May, then the European Parliament may approve the budget in December. But even then, so much technical work remains to be done with new and existing programmes only be able to start late in 2021. Mr Koopman also warned against the outcome of no agreement by the end of this year. In this worst-case scenario, the EU would be reduced to the bare minimum: administration, CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and humanitarian aid. This would mean no cohesion, no Erasmus, and no progress on the Green Deal, the Just Transition Fund, or the digital transition. To avoid this drastic scenario and keep delays to a minimum, the Director-General urged leaders to soften their positions and take steps towards finding a compromise, as soon as possible.

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