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EU Financing / Budgetary Affairs, International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

Financing EU security and defence: Heading 5 of the 2021-2027 MFF

Written by Sidonia Mazur,

© M-SUR / Fotolia

For the new 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), the European Commission proposes to dedicate a separate heading to security and defence – Heading 5. Although the European Union (EU) has already financed action linked to security and defence, this is the first time that this policy area has been so visibly underlined in the EU budget structure. With an allocation of €24 323 million (in 2018 prices), Heading 5 is the smallest of the seven MFF headings and represents 2.1 % of the total MFF.

Heading 5 ‘Security and Defence’ under the new MFF consists of three ‘policy clusters’: security, (policy cluster number 12), defence (13) and crisis response (14).

The programmes and funds proposed for Heading 5 consist of old and new initiatives. They include the continuation of the current Internal Security Fund – Police instrument, funding for nuclear decommissioning and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU). The European Defence Fund and the military mobility programme, which is a part of the Connecting Europe Facility, are new.

The European Parliament position is supportive of the Commission proposal, with the exception of the allocation for nuclear decommissioning, which the Parliaments sees as insufficient.

Even though the Council has not yet expressed its position on the 2021-2027 MFF, the Finnish EU Presidency contributed to the debate with its ‘negotiation box’ that proposed severe cuts to Heading 5, down to €16 491 million. The European Parliament reaction to this reduction is negative.


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 ‘Financing EU security and defence: Heading 5 of the 2021-2027 MFF‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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