MEPs request EC contingency plan for EU budget
The European Parliament's (EP) Committee on Budgets adopted a legislative initiative at its most recent meeting on 4 May 2020. The initiative, which was adopted by 37 votes in favour, with 1 against and 3 abstentions, requests that the European Commission submits a proposal for an MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) contingency plan by 15 June 2020. MEPs are concerned about the risk of the current health crisis endangering the next long-term EU budget coming into force on 1 January 2021.
MEPs point out that while current budgetary ceilings would be automatically extended if no new MFF is in place next year, nonetheless many programmes will expire at the end of 2020 (including, for instance, the Research Framework Programme). The aim should therefore be to provide a safety net for beneficiaries of EU programmes such as citizens, regions, cities, farmers, universities or businesses, and rule out any risk of the current MFF and programmes being discontinued or extended in a disorderly way.
While the EP has already called for a massive recovery and reconstruction package which involves an increased MFF, the newly adopted report states that such a contingency plan could provide a better basis than a late and inadequate MFF for the European Union’s recovery and political priorities.
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