Today, Members of the European Parliament will vote on a cross-party resolution on the EU's long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework. This resolution will provide MEPs with the negotiating mandate changes to the Council's text on the MFF. On Tuesday morning, EU Member States finally agreed to the new MFF and COVID-19 recovery fund. The European Parliament will negotiate with Council on the proposed seven-year budget to come into effect at the start of 2021.
Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"We need a long-term budget that both recognises the scale of the challenge we must meet to overcome the Corona virus crisis and has the resilience to tackle the ever-growing climate crisis. The agreement reached this week in Brussels was a historic moment that lays the foundations for a much needed shift in how the EU operates on areas such as gender mainstreaming, climate spending and a commitment to common debt instruments through corona bonds.
"However, the Council's vision for the MFF does not match the scope of the challenges before us. The reductions in grants over loans does not go far enough to support the long term needs of the recovery. Countries that have chosen frugality over solidarity do so at the expense of European unity. It is now up to the European Parliament to stand up for the rule of law and to invest in future generations.
"The rule of law is so fundamental to ensuring that our Union is built on values that we cannot compromise on respect for the basic principles of democracy, equality under the law and a free press. The Council's proposal on the rule of law is not enough to prevent any EU Member State from sliding into autocracy. The Parliament is calling for the Union to have the tools to preserve EU values for all its citizens, as already proposed by MEPs and the Commission.
Ernest Urtasun MEP, Greens/EFA co-negotiator on the resolution, comments:
“The Parliament is demonstrating that we are ready to engage constructively with Member States in building a budget that works for people and the planet. The move towards 'own resources' for the EU is welcome, but these must move beyond a limited scope and lay the foundations for the EU to become a fiscal union.
"It's welcome that the Council has recognised our call for a minimum of spending on climate for the next seven years. However, we now need legally binding commitments to ensure that these positive words translate into climate action and protection of biodiversity. Cuts to the Just Transition Fund seriously undermine the EU's capacity to support regions transitioning to a greener economy and must be revisited.
"EU leaders' proposed cuts to health and research programmes are dangerous and short-sighted in the midst of a global pandemic. We need to revisit these cuts envisioned by the Member States and see how we can better support programmes that work for the good of our common future. The Parliament must have a say in how the recovery fund is used to ensure that there is accountability with European citizens over how we chart the course out of the Corona crisis.”
The results of the vote are expected shortly after 17:30. Negotiations on the MFF between the Parliament and the Council are expected to commence in September.