One trillion euro to invest in Europe's future – the EU's budget framework 2014-2020
Today the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2014 to 2020. The consent of the EP clears the way for the final approval by the Council in the coming weeks. Two and a half years of intense negotiations, since the Commission had tabled its proposals on 29 June 2011, have come to an end.
The EU's Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 allows the European Union to invest up to EUR 960 billion in commitments (1.00% EU GNI) and EUR 908.4 billion in payments (0.95% EU GNI). Instruments for unforeseen circumstances (like the Emergency Aid Reserve, the European Globalisation Fund, the Solidarity Fund and the Flexibility instrument) and the European Development Fund are situated outside the ceilings of the MFF. If fully activated, they represent additional 36.8 bn (or 0.04% of EU GNI). The EU's budget framework 2014-2020 defines spending priorities that are geared to sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness in line with the EU's growth strategy Europe 2020.
Overall, the reformed cohesion policy will make available up to EUR 366.8 billion to invest in Europe's regions, cities and the real economy. It will be the EU's principle investment tool for delivering the Europe 2020 goals: creating growth and jobs, tackling climate change and energy dependence, and reducing poverty and social exclusion. This will be helped through targeting the European Regional Development Fund at key priorities such as support for small and medium-sized enterprises where the objective is to double support from EUR 70 to 140 billion over the 7 years. There will be stronger result-orientation and a new performance reserve in all European Structural and Investment Funds that incentivises good projects. Finally, efficiency in cohesion policy, rural development and the fisheries fund will also be linked to economic governance to encourage compliance of Member States with the EU's recommendations under the European Semester.
 current prices: Equivalent in 2011 prices: €325 billion.