Contribute to the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020; calling for sufficient levels of payment appropriations and a review of the EU own resources;
Support efforts to strengthen the focus of the EU Budget on results;
Contribute to finding solutions to simplify the implementation of the EU Budget;
Argue for aligning spending with political priorities while maintaining sufficient flexibility to address specific challenges of European regions and cities and to react to unforeseen events
On 6 July 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on "the preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020: Parliament's input ahead of the Commission's proposal". The resolution is in line with the recommendations expressed by the CoR in its opinion, as the rapporteurs of the EP resolution closely cooperated with the CoR rapporteur.
The European Parliament adopted, on 26 October 2016, a resolution on the "mid-term revision of the MFF 2014-2020" (2016/2931/RSP)). It takes on board recommendations from its own resolution on the preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020 and reacts to the Commission's proposal for the mid-term review of the MFF dated 14 September 2016. The European Parliament has been stressing the necessity for all modifications agreed upon during this revision to be implemented without delay and integrated already into the 2017 EU budget.
The European Commission, in its 70th Follow-up Report to the CoR's Plenary Session of June 2016, welcomed the CoR's own-initiative opinion. The Commission informed that the package of the mid-term review proposals addresses the main aspects of the CoR opinion and it aims:
to provide additional financial means for efficiently tackling migration and security risks, and fostering economic growth, job creation and competitiveness;
to increase the flexibility of the EU budget and its ability to quickly and efficiently address unforeseen circumstances;
to simplify financial rules and, hence, reduce the administrative burden on recipients of EU funds.
The package is currently under negotiation with the budgetary authorities. The Commission’s aim was to reach an agreement with the European Parliament and the Council on the package and on the amendment of the MFF Regulation by the end of 2016, which was not achieved; an agreement on the revised Financial Regulation (together with the "omnibus") is expected by mid-2017.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- points out that regions and local authorities are involved – directly and/or indirectly – in managing or spending 75% of the EU budget;
- points out that the current MFF has already reached its limits, exhausting ceilings in some areas and using as many flexibility instruments as currently possible and stresses the need for a full-scale mid-term revision of the MFF;
- reiterates the need to reinforce Horizon 2020 and the CEF through the annual budgetary procedure, in order to compensate as much as possible for the cuts agreed during the EFSI negotiations;
- calls for the continuation of the Youth Employment Initiative, following a fully fledged assessment of its performance and subsequent adjustments, including the provision of new commitment appropriations as of 2017;
- is in favour of flexibility in the MFF and the annual budgets, in order to provide answers to unexpected events or new challenges, but warns against excessive expectations in this area. More flexibility is not the solution to insufficient financial resources;
- notes that, due to the lack of payment appropriations, the Commission will not be able to meet its obligations. This is a particularly worrying trend and the CoR is afraid that some aspects are likely to contribute to a new payment backlog in the second half of the MFF and therefore jeopardise or delay payments to all stakeholders;
- calls for abolishing the return of the surplus to the Member States' national budgets and the deduction from the following year's Member State contribution to the EU budget;
- notes the strong preference for a prolonged ten year budgetary period, with a compulsory substantial mid-term revision after the first five years;
considers that the reform of own resources is essential for a democratic and accountable management of European funds