The European Commission (EC) has revealed its newly proposed budget for the 2021-2027 period at the beginning of May.
This long-term budget is made for a EU with 27 countries and matches resources to new priorities such as "research and innovation, young people, the digital economy, border management, security and defence".
This budget of €1,135 billion in commitments, represents 1.11% of the EU27's gross national income (GNI), and is comparable to the current budget. However, its use will be modified, giving more funds to the new priorities while cutting some where the Commission considers that the sector can still deliver with less.
The goal is to improve efficiency while saving to support more pressing priorities, which will lead to a protected and thriving future.
The Commission wants this budget to be modern, simple and flexible. It intends to be modern by being a change from the past, with goals easier to measure/achieve et an important focus on coherence and efficiency. It will be simpler because the EC wants to reduce the number of programmes and instruments. One third of the current programmes will disappear. Finally, it will be more flexible, within and between programmes and also through the creation of a new "Union Reserve" fund, meant to provide a swift answer in case of unexpected events or emergencies dealing with security, migration etc.
To secure the budget, the Commission suggests a new mechanism to "suspend, reduce or restrict access to EU funding in a manner proportionate to the nature, gravity and scope of the rule of law deficiencies." It would thus protect the budget, and the EU, from the deficiencies of the rule of Law in all Member States. Adding to this new financial instrument, the Commission proposes 2 new budgetary instruments to help reforms, promote the euro area and maintain good investment levels.
Finally, the new budget proposal includes new, modern sources of funding. Revenues could come from the Emissions Trading System, from corporate taxes and from a national contribution on the amount of non-recycled plastic packaging waste each Member State is generating.
While we're all for this national contribution and the Commission's desire to create a sound, coherent, efficient budget, let's not forget the two big things that are on the losing side of this proposal, namely the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion policy, which will each suffer from a 5% decrease in their budget.
Now that the proposal has been made, the decision falls into the hands of the Council...
Soon to be continued.
More information available: