Chapter News

The European Union’s long-term budget

President Juncker at the High-Level EU Budget conference: Matching ambitions and meeting future challenges 

Ahead of the College debate on the European Union’s long-term budget on Wednesday 10 January, the Commissioner for Budget and Human resources, Günther H. Oettinger launched today a High-Level conference on “Shaping Our Future – Designing the Next Multiannual Financial Framework”, which is hosted by the European Political Strategy Centre, the Commission’s in-house think tank.

This conference opens the final stretch of preparing the next multi annual financial framework, before the Leaders’ informal meeting in February and the Commission’s proposal which will be presented in May 2018.

In his opening address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: Budgets are not bookkeeping exercises – they are about priorities and ambition. So let’s first discuss about the Europe we want. […] I am against the old debate between so-called net recipients versusnet payers to the EU budget – because when it comes to the EU, we are all net recipients”.

At his State-of-the-Union speech on 13 September 2017, President Juncker laid out his roadmap towards the European Summit in May 2019. He underlined that the European Union needs a budget that matches its ambitions and meets future challenges. The Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances has fostered a debate on the EU´s budgetary needs to sustain Europe’s prosperity and security.

The multiannual financial framework lays down the maximum annual amounts which the EU may spend each year in different policy fields over a period of at least 5 years. The current multiannual financial framework covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Each annual budget must comply with this framework facing a tough challenge to fund more with less.

The EU is expected to play a bigger role in new policy areas like migration, internal and external security or defence. And Europe should also preserve its leading role on the global stage, as a major humanitarian and development aid donor and as a leader of the fight against climate change. That must be achieved with an EU budget that will only get smaller following the departure of the United Kingdom.

Compliments of the European Commission