EU institutions have reached a €1.8 trillion agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 and the NextGenerationEU recovery fund. The deal marks the largest ever EU budget. It is also the first time the MFF has specifically earmarked 30% climate funding, with 10% of funding for biodiversity spending. An additional €16 billion has been set aside for top-ups to EU programmes such as the Horizon Europe, Erasmus +, and the new EU4health scheme. Under the new MFF text, financial sanctions can be imposed for violations of the rule of law.
Grace O’Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South says “While the new MFF might not go as far as I would like in some areas, I am broadly welcoming. In the current health crisis it’s appropriate that the Covid recovery package should be prioritised. I am also heartened to note the climate and biodiversity emergency being tackled head-on, with commitments on an ambitious climate budget.
“With the new MFF including, for the first time, a commitment to spend 30% of the EU budget on climate change measures, as well as a further 10% earmarked for biodiversity spending by 2026, this MFF’s environmental commitments are reinforced with the mandatory introduction of a ‘do no harm’ principle, which means that projects that are harmful to the climate will be removed from the EU budget.”
Ciarán Cuffe, MEP for Dublin says “Agreement on the much-needed financial package is good news. Ring-fencing funds for climate action and bio-diversity protection makes sense, as well as conditions that penalise countries that violate the Rule of Law.
“Agreeing a budget that provides for the economy to recover from Covid 19, and move forward with plans to deliver the EU Green Deal is progress. I’m also pleased that there is a top up available for research funding on Horizon Europe, and Erasmus + which will allow young people to travel and study abroad.”
In yet another first, the EU financial package also includes the introduction of ‘own resources’ which provide a means to raise European level revenue over the next 7 years. This will include a plastic tax in 2021, a carbon border adjustment tax, EU digital tax and ETS by 2023. Both the European Parliament and the Council must now formally adopt the MFF and NextGenerationEU financial package in the coming weeks.
- Information on the specifics of MFF and NextGenerationEU budget can be accessed here.
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