The EP published its priorities for the EU budget after 2020. Concretely, the EP voted on two joint Reports: one on the EP’s vision for the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) post-2020, and the other calling for new means of raising genuine own resources for the EU budget, instead of relying on annual contributions from the Member States.
MEPs want the EU budget to match political priorities and address some of the new challenges facing all Member States, such as: (i) migration; (ii) defence; (iii) security; and (iv) climate change. They consider that the current limit on EU expenditure needs to be raised from 1% to 1,3% of EU Gross National Income (GNI), in order to be able to fund these new priority areas without sacrificing Europe’s regions or farming communities.
Key proposals include boosting research programmes – such as Erasmus+ and the Youth Employment Initiative – and support for SMEs as well as infrastructure investment through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
In regard to the energy sector, the EP recognises the importance of the EU budget in the fight against climate change and in the transition towards zero-carbon and climate-resilient economies. The EP considers that the next MFF period should provide for increased EU funding, including structural and investment funds, in order to deepen the integration of the EU energy market and to help achieve the EU’s climate goals in line with the Paris Agreement, especially for key energy infrastructure projects such as projects of common interest (PCIs).
In this line, MEPs have called for significantly more financial support to tackle climate change than the current level of 20%, with a 30% climate action spending target, and for the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies in future EU spending. Furthermore, they emphasise the need for CO2 reduction when investing EU funds in the transport sector, and for the support of carbon-intensive regions as they transition to the zero-carbon economy.
The EC will publish its proposal on the EU’s post-2020 funding strategy in May 2018.