On Monday, Members of the Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament adopted a legislative initiative report by 37 votes in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions, requesting that the European Commission submits a proposal for an MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) contingency plan by 15 June 2020.
In a statement, the EP said that “while current budgetary ceilings would be automatically extended if no new MFF is in place next year, nonetheless many programmes will expire at the end of 2020. The aim is to provide a safety net for beneficiaries of EU programmes such as citizens, regions, cities, farmers, universities or businesses, and rule out any risk of the current MFF and programmes being discontinued or extended in a disorderly way.”
Focus on tackling COVID-19 consequences
MEPs say the plan should make it possible to refocus the budget temporarily on addressing and mitigating the immediate economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and on helping in the recovery, including additional flexibility and funding to this end which would be based on what was already done under this year’s budget.
The EP has indeed called for a massive recovery and reconstruction package which involves an increased MFF. The newly adopted report states that such a contingency plan could provide a better basis than a late and inadequate MFF for the European Union’s recovery and political priorities