The current MFF (see Figure 1) covers the years 2014 to 2020, and is the EU’s fifth consecutive multiannual financial plan. Amounting to €1.09 trillion (commitment appropriations), or roughly 1 % of EU GNI, it is the first MFF to be smaller than its predecessor (the 2007-2013 MFF). Negotiated against the backdrop of an economic downturn and fiscal consolidation in Europe, it was agreed only at the end of 2013, which led to delays in the start of implementation of the new spending programmes. Moreover, soon after it was established there was a dramatic increase in the need for funding in some areas. The 2014-2020 MFF had to accommodate the EU’s response to the refugee crisis, security issues, and environmental and climate commitments, as well as EU efforts to enhance economic growth and job creation. Part of this involved creating parallel financial structures co-financed by the EU budget, such as the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, the European Fund for Sustainable Development, and the European Fund for Strategic Investments. In addition, particularly in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, the MFF had to absorb an abnormal payments backlog that had built up since 2011. As a result, the margins built into the MFF were quickly exhausted, and all ‘last-resort’ special and flexibility instruments available in the MFF Regulation had to be triggered, though a mid-term review and revision of the 2014-2020 MFF did provide an opportunity to introduce some modifications, increasing the EU’s capacity to respond financially to unforeseen challenges in the remaining years.