Parallel negotiating process agreed
Statement on MFF Talks:
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, for the Irish Presidency, this evening had a productive meeting on the EU’s multi-annual financial framework with European Parliament President Schulz and European Commission President Barroso.
They agreed on the vital importance of reaching agreement on the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020.The MFF is a direct contribution of the EU to the promotion of jobs and growth in Europe.
They agreed that work on both the MFF and the draft amending budget for 2013 will be taken forward in parallel, with work on the draft amending budget continuing on the basis of a two phase approach. The Irish Presidency’s aim remains to reach agreement on both during our Presidency of the Council of the EU. It was agreed that MFF negotiations will begin with a first trilogue discussion next Monday, 13 May.
Detail of Agreement
- To start formal negotiations on the MFF and in parallel to negotiate on the draft amending budget for 2013 which will be agreed in two stages. The Presidency of the Council has tabled a proposal for a first tranche of EUR 7.3 billion which will be submitted to the ECOFIN Council for approval on 14 May. This figure is EUR 3.9 billion short of the EUR 11.2 billion proposed by the Commission as the minimum needed to meet the EU's financial obligations in 2013. EUR 11.2 billion is also the amount still available under the ceiling which can be agreed by qualified majority.
- The Presidency of the Council will work with Member States on a political commitment regarding the second tranche and on how they will meet the remaining obligations by early autumn. The Presidents of the European Parliament and the Commission stressed the need for EUR 11.2 billion.
- Negotiations on the MFF will start with a trilogue on 13 May. These negotiations will start on the basis of the European Council conclusions of February 2013 focusing on four main points
- A revision clause
- Own resources
- Unity of the budget
- It was also agreed not to re-open the figures agreed on administrative expenditure (Heading 5) and accordingly to speed up the negotiations on the staff regulations which are part and parcel of the MFF package.
- Both negotiations on MFF and the draft amending budget should converge as quickly as possible – but nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The President of the European Parliament recalled the EP resolution of 13 March 2013 on the MFF which states that "the European Parliament will not conclude these negotiations before the final adoption by the Council and the Parliament of this amending budget".