EP negotiators for the post-2020 EU budget discussed their priorities with European Council President Charles Michel, ahead of a crucial plenary debate on the budget next week.
In the meeting in the European Parliament in Brussels on Friday, MEPs reiterated their call for an ambitious multiannual financial framework (MFF) that ensures the continuity of the EU’s main policies, like the cohesion and agricultural policies. They insisted on boosting priority areas like climate action, digitalisation, support for young people (Erasmus+, youth employment) and for SMEs as well as migration and security. The geopolitical role of the EU should also be strengthened.
“I value President Michel’s openness very much; we had a very constructive dialogue on Parliament’s priorities today. A few days after Brexit, the European Union must give a strong signal to its citizens. Our shared ambitions – the European Green Deal, the digital transformation, and a stronger geopolitical Europe – will remain an empty shell if we do not match them with sufficient reliable funding. We expect President Michel to take due account of Parliament’s position in his upcoming proposal, to set the basis for a viable agreement”, said Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets and Head of the Parliament’s MFF negotiating team.
After the EP plenary debate on 12 February, the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 will be on the agenda of a special meeting of the European Council (member states) starting on 20 February. The MEPs also discussed the state of play of talks between member states with Mr Michel, who prepares and chairs the Council meeting.
The member states have to agree on a common position in order to start negotiating with Parliament and find an agreement in time for the MFF to start in January 2021. The EP has to give its consent to the next long-term EU budget.