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First orientation debate on the mid-term review of the multi-annual financial framework

The College of Commissioners today took stock of what has already been achieved thanks to the EU budget since the beginning of the present financial period in 2014 and presented the challenges ahead, in view of the mid-term review of the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) expected later this year.

During the press conference that followed the debate, Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources Kristalina Georgieva stressed that the Commission had managed to demonstrate that we could focus resources on priorities such as growth and jobs, for example via the mobilisation of investments of over EUR 100 billion from the European Fund for Strategic Investments. At the same time, the EU addressed unexpected challenges during the first years of this MFF such as the migration pressure on our borders, inter alia by doubling the funding for migration to over EUR 15 billion.

VP Georgieva also emphasized that ‘we have used the flexibility of the EU budget wisely’, for example by creating new external funds to help those most in need in Africa, Syria and Turkey. We also ‘managed to arrest and reverse the growing error rate, so the quality of our spending improves’, in line with the Commission’s ‘EU Budget Focused for Results’ initiative, and ‘improved the transparency of the budget’. ‘You may not have paid attention, but last week we published for the first time a full set of accountability reports that tells us where money comes from – the revenue side, where money goes – the expenditure side, how we manage, and what is the performance of the budget', she stressed.

Future challenges

Among future challenges, VP Georgieva mentioned that we need to:

  • have ‘more room for flexibility in the budget'
  • make rules simpler so that EU funds are easier to access and administer
  • be able to ‘use, in a more balanced way, financial instruments and grants to achieve more for our people’
  • focus on results and not processes.

The Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources said that ‘there will be a lot to debate in the next months' with the Parliament and the Council before a clear decision on the mid-term review of the MFF is taken by the end of the year.

More information

LIVE Read-out of the College meeting of 27/07/2016

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