Written by Velina Lilyanova,
In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposal for the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed next MFF is structured in 7 headings, encompassing 17 policy clusters. The Commission has proposed a total budget of €1 134 583 million in current prices. The vast majority of these funds – over 93 % – is dedicated to a variety of EU programmes, and is invested primarily in Member States, as well as partially in partner countries as external spending. The remaining funds cover the administrative expenses of the EU, an underlying cost of all EU activities.
In the current MFF for 2014-2020, Heading 5 covers administration, while in the proposed 2021-2027 MFF, administrative costs will be funded under Heading 7, entitled ‘European public administration’. While in other policy areas there is more significant restructuring, the heading that covers EU administrative costs is comparable to that of the current MFF in size and structure.
In its proposal for the future Heading 7, the Commission upholds its view that, to ensure the smooth functioning of the Union, the EU budget must finance its administration adequately, particularly in view of the fact that the EU civil service has undergone two successive and substantial reforms within a short time frame, in 2004 and 2014. The Commission proposal aims to ensure that the EU can rely on a highly qualified administrative service, which respects a geographical and gender balance. The proposal has been backed by the European Parliament. On the other hand, in its first draft ‘negotiating box’ including figures from December 2019, the Council proposed a 2.6 % cut to the allocations in the Commission proposal and Parliament’s position.
Visit the European Parliament homepage on the EU’s long term budget 2021-2027.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Financing the EU’s administration: Heading 7 of the 2021-2027 MFF‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.