“It’s time for EU leaders to put their money where their mouth is” - JEF Europe on the Commission’s proposals for the new Multiannual Financial Framework and new own resources
“We’ve already seen some national leaders criticising the timid Commission’s proposals issued today, but 1.11% of the EU’s GDP is not even close to what the EU needs to face the challenges ahead. Even the Parliament’s proposal for an MFF totaling 1.3% of GDP is just about the bare minimum for progressively structuring a budget giving the EU real means for its ambitions.”, says Sebastiano Putoto, member of the Executive Board of the Young European Federalists [JEF Europe]. He continues: “After every European Council summit we get a parade of national leaders claiming how the EU is leading the global fight against climate change, solving the issue of youth unemployment, whilst taking decisive action to provide for the security of its citizens. These are more than hollow words for the Continent’s pro-European youth. It’s time that Heads of State and Government put their money where their mouth is”.
As far as the financing of the EU budget is concerned, JEF Europe finds the proposal to be a small step in the right direction: the VAT-based own resource, albeit simplified, will remain for now little more than a disguised national contribution, and the proposed new ‘genuine’ own resources (ETS revenues, a plastic packaging levy, and a European Corporate Income Tax) will cover only about 12% of the financing needs at the end of the MFF. “Citizens understand that European public goods come at a cost, and we’re convinced they would have supported an even more courageous proposal by the Commission, even against the narrow interests of their own national governments”, Putoto states.
“The Commission’s proposals also provide for new headings that are clearer and more intuitive than in the previous financial frameworks. Hopefully this will improve the transparency of the EU budget towards citizens. We will have to wait for the sectoral proposals in the coming weeks to know exactly what the budgetary allocations for the different programmes will be and how the budget will provide for additional mechanisms to safeguard the Rule of Law and ensure the sound financial management of EU funds, but we certainly welcome Commissioner Oettinger’s emphasis on supporting youth, civil society, defense, environment, starting with the doubling the budget for the new Erasmus+”, concludes Putoto.
Today the European Commission has issued its proposals for the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the European Union of 27 Member States, alongside a proposal for a new system of Own Resources (OR) to finance the EU budget. The MFF provides a framework for financial programming from 2021 to 2027, ensuring that EU spending is predictable and stays within the agreed limits, by establishing maximum annual amounts (ceilings) which the EU may spend in different categories of expenditure (headings).
The non-partisan youth NGO JEF Europe is convinced that many contemporary challenges can only be tackled at European, if not global level. JEF Europe has long been calling for a common security and defence policy, for complementing the monetary union with a political union and the ECB with a European Treasury, for a humane asylum and migration policy at European level, as well as for decisive EU action against climate change. These political choices, however, have budgetary consequences.
Find our resolution on "A federal budget for the European youth: Reforming the Multiannual Financial Framework" adopted by the European Congress in November 2017 in Malta.
More information on JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO with 13.000 members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.
JEF Europe Secretariat
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