MEPs in the Committee on Regional Development have decided to freeze all political talks relating to the next EU 7-year budget (MFF) in reaction to the Council’s lack of flexibility in negotiations. This comes as confirmation that important programmes and dossiers continue to be a priority for the Socialists and Democrats and that any attempt to reduce funding will be met with a firm stance from the Group.
Constanze Krehl, S&D spokeswoman on regional development said:
“The REGI committee has decided today to freeze negotiations on MFF related dossiers until the end of February, allowing our members to asses further reactions after the EU Summit next month. The European Parliament and the Council should stand on equal footing in the negotiations for the Multiannual Financial Framework. The so-called “negotiating box” of the European Council prevents this from happening. They have taken away the possibility of co-decision for the only elected EU institution.
“We want a quick reaction from the Council, one that will allow crucial programmes to continue to be implemented.
“As January 2021 is the date all these programmes are supposed to start, we fear that this lack of response from the Council will translate into a delay in financing. This is why we have asked Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, responsible for Cohesion and Reforms, to come up with a “plan B”. All financing for existing programmes must be prolonged, should the Council fail to allow us to reopen negotiations as soon as possible. Time is of the essence! People and regions depend on these funds for innovation, sustainable growth, jobs and the urgent fight against ongoing climate change!”