EU General Affairs Council to hold discussions on the bloc’s 7-year budget framework

The EU General Affairs Council will hold its monthly meeting in Brussels today, with the bloc’s long-term Multiannual Financial Framework

eu general affairs council

Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters

The EU General Affairs Council will hold its monthly meeting in Brussels today, with the bloc’s long-term Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 to be key on the agenda.

The MFF will allocate the EU’s spending over seven years on policy areas of research and innovation, youth, climate action, migration and border management and security.

It will likely contain a ‘rule of law’ clause, which aims to make EU subsidies to countries conditional upon their observing the rule of law in terms of the independence of their judiciary.

Since the EU does not self-finance or run deficits, member contributions are positively correlated with their economic capacity. Germany and France, the largest contributors, are thus expected to advocate for stricter subsidy allocations. This would target certain eastern European countries, such as Hungary and Poland, which use EU subsidies to fund tax cuts.

Finland—holding the Council presidency until the year’s end—will propose revised estimates in the body’s upcoming meeting on December 10. It is likely to stick to its October suggestion of 1.03% EU GDP spending on the MFF, which falls short of European Commission and European Parliament’s recommendations of 1.15% and 1.30% EU GDP, respectively.

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