The European Commission (EC) started debating for the future of the European Union (EU) budget due to Brexit. Today, the institution publishes a reflection paper on the future of EU finances as a follow-up to the debate launched with the White Paper on the Future of Europe.
“In order for Europe to face the new challenges it needs money. We can either spend less or search for new earnings. Whatever is our choice, any Euro invested by the EU budget must bring added value and have a positive impact on people’s daily life”, said Commissioner for Budget, Gunther Oettinger.
The Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Cretu adds that the EU budget needs to be fully redesigned, made more flexible and helped to achieve faster growth.
The EU budget faces a serious challenge to finance more activities with less money. The EU is expected to play a larger role in new policy areas such as migration, internal and external security or defense. Europe must also maintain its leading role on the world stage as the main donor of humanitarian aid and development aid, as well as a leader in the fight against climate change. This should be achieved in the context of a further reduction in the EU budget after Brexit, says the report.
The discussions will take place around the five scenarios set out in the White Paper on the EU – to continue as it has so far, to restrict its common activities, to progress at different levels of intensity, to do less, but more efficiently, or to do Much more with all the Member States.
The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework sets the maximum annual amounts, which the bloc may spend in different policy areas each year for a period of at least 5 years. The current multiannual financial framework covers the period 2014-2020. Each annual budget must comply with this framework.