The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the President of the European Commission met in Brussels on 6 May to discuss budgetary matters. They agreed on key points on the Draft Amending Budget 2013, which paves the way for negotiations to start on the Multiannual Financial Framework. The details of the framework for the negotiations are set out below.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz stated: “This indeed was a crucial meeting on budgetary matters and good progress was made. The European Parliament wants to ensure that the EU’s bills for 2013 can be paid. European citizens benefiting from programmes ranging from Erasmus to the European Social Fund must know that the necessary funds will still be available at the end of the year. Key negotiations can now be opened on the long-term EU budget, but I underline nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
The European Parliament is working constructively to get a deal on the EU annual and long-term budgets that are in the best interests of Europeans. We cannot and will not introduce budget deficits into the EU budget and repeat some of the mistakes of national budgets.
I pay tribute to the Irish Presidency of the Council and the European Commission for their goodwill in the tough ongoing negotiations. I also thank my colleague Alain Lamassoure, who will now lead the detailed negotiations for the European Parliament in order to achieve an EU long-term budget that is both future-orientated and will create jobs and growth.
The details of the framework as agreed by the three institutions for the negotiations are set out below:
To start formal negotiations on the MFF and, in parallel, to negotiate on the draft amending budget for 2013 – which will be agreed in two stages – the Presidency of the Council has tabled a proposal for a first tranche of EUR 7.3 billion to be submitted to the ECOFIN Council for approval on 14 May. This figure is EUR 3.9 billion short of the EUR 11.2 billion proposed by the Commission as the minimum needed to meet the EU’s financial obligations in 2013. EUR 11.2 billion is also the amount still available under the ceiling which can be agreed by qualified majority.
The Presidency of the Council will work with Member States on a political commitment regarding the second tranche and on how they will meet the remaining obligations by early autumn. The Presidents of the European Parliament and the Commission stressed the need for EUR 11.2 billion.
Negotiations on the MFF will start with a trilogue on 13 May. These negotiations will start on the basis of the European Council conclusions of February 2013, focusing on four main points:
- a revision clause,
- own resources, and
- unity of the budget.
It was also agreed not to re-open the figures agreed on administrative expenditure (Heading 5) and accordingly to speed up the negotiations on the staff regulations which are part and parcel of the MFF package. Both negotiations on the MFF and the draft amending budget should converge as quickly as possible – but nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The President of the European Parliament pointed to the EP resolution of 13 March 2013 on the MFF, which states that “the European Parliament will not conclude these negotiations before the final adoption by the Council and the Parliament of this amending budget”.
Source: European Parliament