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 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. For example, compared to the current framework, Heading 1A (Competitiveness for growth and employment) is increased from € 91.5 billion (= 9.2% of the budget) to € 125.6 billion (13.1% of the budget).
The reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a strong response from the EU to the big challenges of today, such as food safety, climate change and sustainable growth and job creation in rural areas.
It also responds better to people's expectations: Direct payments will be fairer and greener. Farmers will also enjoy a stronger position within the food production chain and the new CAP will be more targeted, efficient and more transparent. It supports a market-oriented agriculture (for example with no more export subsidies, which were phased out over the past years).
Agricultural products represented a high 7% share of in EU exports in 2011 with a value of more than EUR 100 billion - more than cars or pharmaceuticals. The CAP therefore is therefore an important driver for jobs and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
For 50 years, the Common Agricultural Policy has been a genuinely European policy of strategic importance. As it is a true Community policy, more than 70% of agricultural funding in Europe today comes from the EU and no longer from national or regional coffers.
Its share in the MFF 2014-2020 will be as follows (in current prices): € 312.74 billion or 29% for market-related expenditure and direct aids (pillar 1) – of which € 298.44 billion is for Direct Payments; and € 95.58 billion or 9% for rural development (pillar 2), giving a total of € 408.31 billion.
NB: In the course of the MFF negotiations, figures were often quoted in "constant 2011 prices", i.e. adjusted for inflation – giving totals of € 277.85 billion (1st pillar) and € 84.94 billion (2nd pillar), giving a total of € 362.79 billion. However, it is the “current price” figures that are included in the Regulation.