MFF proposals: Don’t slash the social

Yesterday, the European Commission published its proposals for the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027. In advance of ensuing negotiations between the European Parliament and Council on a final MFF, CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger calls for adequate funding for a strong social dimension of the EU.

In its legislative proposals and accompanying texts on the next MFF, the European Commission proposes a long-term budget of €1,279 billion in commitments (taking inflation into account) over the period from 2021 to 2027, equivalent to 1.11% of the EU27’s gross national income (GNI). This represents an increase of €192bn increase compared to the current MFF 2014-2020, which amounted to €1,087 billion. The share of funding in the area of social affairs and cohesion will decrease.

According to the European Commission, the MFF reflects the spirit of the Rome Declaration of March 2017 in which leaders of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Member States fixed what should be the EU’s core tasks in the years to come: (1) border, internal security and migration management, (2) sustainable economic growth, (3) social progress, (4) external development cooperation and security.

CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “The Rome Declaration called for a social Europe which promotes social progress and cohesion as one of the EU’s four priorities for the future. We welcome the proposal for a substantial increase of funding for Erasmus+ but with social inequalities between the very rich and the very poor increasing at unprecedented paces, we call for adequate funding for the social dimension of the EU. The European Commission put the European Pillar of Social Rights very high on the political agenda and CESI has warned from the start that its implementation will not come for free. The next MFF is the place to ensure the right financial prospects for the implementation of the Pillar. We hope that the European Parliament and the Council will support this view during its upcoming legislative negotiations.”