Key elements of the EP negotiating mandate on the MFF

The European Parliament’s mandate to negotiate the EU multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020 with the EU member states was approved in Strasbourg on Wednesday 13 March 2013.

Parliament rejects the agreement in its current form and calls for a forward-looking budget that can deliver growth and jobs, that provides maximum flexibility for adjusting spending priorities within the budget and from year to year, for a real revision possibility and for a system of genuine own resources to fund the EU budget.

President Schulz said yesterday:
“This important resolution paves the way forward for possible negotiations with the Council on the long-term EU budget 2014-2020. The European Parliament cannot accept the proposal from the Member States without the fulfillment of certain essential conditions”.

“There must be maximum overall flexibility and an ambitious agreement on own resources. The European Parliament also demands a compulsory, legally binding and comprehensive revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework decided by qualified majority in the Council. Parliament will not even start negotiations until all unpaid payment claims for 2012 are covered.”

In addition, Parliament also wants all bills falling due in 2013 be paid in 2013, so as to avoid “rolling over a deficit” into the new MFF; 2014 has to be started with a “clean sheet” and without an ever increasing structural deficit
Resolution adopted on 13 March with 506 in favour, 161 against and 23 abstentions

  • Parliament “rejects this agreement in its current form, as it does not reflect the priorities and concerns expressed by Parliament – notably in its resolution of 23 October 2012”. (§1)
  • Parliament wants “a modern, forward-looking, flexible and transparent EU budget that can deliver growth and jobs and bridge the gap between the EU’s political commitments and budgetary means”. (§2)
  • Parliament “stresses therefore the importance of substantially increasing its investments in innovation, research and development, infrastructure and youth, meeting the EU’s climate change and energy objectives, improving education levels and promoting social inclusion, while fulfilling its international commitments”; (§4)
  • Parliament “strongly opposes the current accumulation and rollover of outstanding payment claims in the EU budget, and expresses its firm opposition to a financial framework that might lead the EU budget into a structural deficit.” (§6)
  • Parliament “is therefore determined to prevent any further shifts of payments from 2013 to the next MFF” (§7)
  • Parliament “recalls the declaration annexed to the EU Budget 2013 calling for the Commission to present, at an early stage in 2013, a Draft Amending Budget devoted to the sole purpose of covering all unpaid claims for 2012.” (§7)
  • Parliament “emphasises that it will not start negotiations on the MFF until the Commission comes forward with an Amending Budget corresponding to this political commitment, and will not conclude these negotiations before the final adoption by Council and Parliament of this Amending Budget.” (§7)
  • Parliament “demands a political engagement from the Council that all legal obligations due in 2013 will be paid out by the end of this year.” (§7)
  • Parliament demands “a compulsory and comprehensive revision, a maximum overall flexibility and an agreement on own resources.” (§8)
  • Parliament wants to “ensure full democratic legitimacy for the next EP and Commission following the 2014 European elections. By means of a legally binding revision clause, both “should be in a position to reconfirm the EU’s budgetary priorities and carry out a revision of the MFF 2014-2020.” (§9)
  • Parliament wants “to ensure maximum overall flexibility between and within headings, as well as between financial years, decided by qualified majority in the Council.” (§10)
  • Parliament “stresses that, in parallel with the MFF negotiations, Parliament and the Council should accelerate their negotiations on the specific legal bases of the EU programmes and policies for the period 2014-2020.” (§14)