In a non-legislative resolution, the European Parliament finally approved the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020.
The €959.988 million EU budget, which amounts to 1% of the EU’s gross national income, is shorter by €34.188 million, compared to the current MFF 2007-2013. In June 2012, the Commission had proposed a €1.045.282 million budget.
According to conservation organisation WWF, “most EU expenditure will continue current programmes with a negative environmental impact while environmental-friendly programmes such as LIFE or the Agri Environmental measures are seriously under resourced given their contributions to improving environmental quality”.
Major environmental concerns are raised with regard to the new Common Agricultural Policy, which accounts for a lion’s share of €363 billion. The current agreement takes steps backwards, by failing to reward farmers who adopt environmentally beneficial practices. Though a policy construct that has angered proponents of sustainable agriculture, the new CAP will provide double funding to farmers for the same environmental activity, thus wasting valuable common funds.
Compared to the current MFF 2007-2013, number one “loser” is the policies housed under heading 2 “Preservation and Management of Natural Resources”, i.e. nature conservation, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy. The commitment appropriations are as follows:
|SPENDING PRIORITIES||MFF 2007-2013 (million €)||MFF 2014-2020 (million €)||COMPARISON (%)|
|1. Sustainable growth (incl. Cohesion, Connecting Europe, Facility and Galileo, ITER, GMES)||446.310||450.763||+1%|
|2. Preservation and Management of Natural Resources (incl. CAP & CFP)||420.682||373.179||-11%|
|3. Citizenship, freedom, security and justice||12.366||15.686||+27%|
|4. EU as a global player||56.815||58.704||+3%|
The final vote that will approve the legislative framework will take place in autumn, following endorsement by the Council and conditional upon settling a deficit of €11.2 billion in outstanding payments.