Written by Marianna Pari,

© Oleksii Lishchyshyn / Shutterstock.com

The European Union’s long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF), sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. It is structured around the EU’s spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or ‘headings’.

Heading 1 – Single market, innovation and digital – is one of the seven headings in the MFF proposed by the European Commission for the new 2021-2027 financial period. The heading covers spending in four policy areas: research and innovation, European strategic investments, single market, and space. The Commission, with a view to matching the budget to the EU’s political ambitions, is proposing an overall amount of €166.3 billion (in 2018 prices) for this heading, representing 14.7 % of the MFF proposal. However, the new Commission’s six priorities for 2019-2024 could have a budgetary impact on this heading, in particular the support for investment in green technologies and a cleaner private and public transport, which are among the actions included in the European Green Deal, and efforts to enable Europe to make the most of the potential of the digital age.

This briefing presents the structure and budget allocation of Heading 1 and compares it with the current MFF. It describes each policy cluster and compares the Commission’s budgetary proposal with the European Parliament’s negotiating position and the negotiating box presented by the Finnish Presidency in December 2019. It then explores some considerations that could contribute to the forthcoming budgetary negotiations on the 2021-2027 MFF.

Visit the European Parliament homepage on the EU’s long term budget 2021-2027.

Or The EU’s long term budget explained.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Single market, innovation and digital: Heading 1 of the 2021-2027 MFF‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.