The CoR has long called for an agreement on the MFF post-2020 to be reached with the Council before the 2019 European Parliament elections. Therefore, a timely contribution of the CoR to an interim report of the European Parliament, due in November 2018, should ensure that the needs and priorities of EU cities and regions are taken into account when the institutions negotiate a draft agreement on the next MFF.
As regards the European Parliament's interim report, adopted on 14 November 2018 (COM(2018)0322 – C8-0000/2018 – 2018/0166R(APP)), the views of the CoR and the EP are globally convergent, but the European Parliament's resolution is much more detailed and goes far beyond recommendations/calls of the CoR, both in terms of proposed increases for relevant spending programmes as well as the overall structure of the MFF and principles that apply to it. The CoR opinion was very political and instead of focusing on legislative amendments, it put forward general recommendations regarding the size of the MFF, the own resources' reform, the rule of law and separate programmes.
As regards the CoR legislative amendments, these concern the regulation on the protection of the EU against generalized deficiencies, which has been tackled by a separate report, adopted in the Parliament's Plenary sitting on 17 January 2019 . Out of six legislative amendments put forward by the CoR, only one has been reflected in the EP final report.
As to concrete key CoR recommendations:
no obvious successor to the Europe 2020 strategy, link between the overall MFF and SDG inadequate: ACCEPTED
the future MFF should be set at at least 1.3% of GNI: ACCEPTED
it is unacceptable that the financing of additional priorities is to be at the expense of existing EU policies with proven EU added value: ACCEPTED
the Commission proposal could have been more ambitious as regards own resources: EP more ambitious
the proposal for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) has considerable potential to increase the proportion of own resources, provided that it is made binding for a large number of companies: EP more ambitious
a welcome to the proposed cut to the amounts retained by Member States to meet the costs of collecting traditional own resources: EP less ambitious than CoR
need to make sure that the EU Member States also meet their financial obligations to beneficiaries in the event that a procedure to safeguard the EU's financial interests is initiated: ACCEPTED
increase the budget for policies relating to major new challenges: ACCEPTED
opposition to the proposed 10% cut to the Cohesion Policy budget, views the proposed cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy as unacceptable: EP more ambitious
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- notes with regret that the Commission proposal is not ambitious enough; reiterates the Committee's position, which is shared by the European Parliament, that the future MFF should be set at at least 1.3% of GNI;
- considers it unacceptable that the financing of additional priorities is to be at the expense of existing EU policies with proven EU added value, such as the Cohesion Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy and, in particular, rural development policy;
- notes with concern that the Commission's proposals point towards further strengthening programmes under direct or indirect management at the expense of programmes under shared management by the Commission and the Member States;
- welcomes the Commission's efforts to simplify the revenue side of the budget, and in particular the proposal to phase out all rebates linked to Member States and to streamline VAT-based revenue;
- welcomes the European Commission's efforts to ensure seamless financing for EU final beneficiaries, by making sure that the EU Member States also meet their financial obligations to beneficiaries in the event that a procedure to safeguard the EU's financial interests is initiated; expects the Commission to develop further resources to protect final beneficiaries' interests;
- strongly opposes the proposed cut to the Cohesion Policy budget; also views the proposed cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy as unacceptable. Such a steep reduction in areas that are among the EU's most visible policies, would be detrimental to the growth and development of the European regions;
- strongly rejects the proposed solutions, which will further exacerbate the situation of local and regional authorities compared with today when it comes to the time limit for using annual allocations from EU programmes and to the level of pre-financing and, in particular, co-financing of projects;
- calls on all EU bodies to reach swift agreement on the next multiannual financial framework so that EU programmes can be adopted in good time before the beginning of the next MFF.