Members' Research Service By / June 20, 2023

Long-term EU budget for 2021 to 2027: State of play

The current multiannual financial framework (MFF) sets out the structure for EU spending from 2021 until the end of 2027, while the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument significantly reinforces the resources channelled through EU budgetary instruments over the years 2021 to 2023.

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Written by Karoline Kowald and Marianna Pari.

New financing needs, not foreseen when the EU’s long-term budget for 2021 to 2027 was finalised, have arisen in recent months, reflecting multiple crises.

From the very outset, in 2021, implementation of the EU’s 2021-2027 budget faced challenging circumstances, with the pandemic and its consequences. In response, the EU and its Member States mobilised €3.7 trillion overall, with the EU budget providing direct support of €70 billion to help EU citizens and enterprises, and countries outside the EU, cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Financial pressure amplified in 2022 with Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU and its Member States have so far provided €72 billion in financial, military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The war has, in addition, led to inflationary pressure, diminishing the real-terms value of financial resources.

The EU’s budgetary resources for the current financial period from 2021 to 2027 were originally set at €1.8 trillion from the multiannual financial framework (MFF) and from the EU’s temporary recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU). These resources have been consumed much faster than anticipated. The funds set aside for responding to unforeseeable events, the special instruments, earmarked €10.5 billion for the years 2021 to 2024 and are almost entirely depleted. The European Parliament has called repeatedly for a meaningful and urgent revision of the EU budget.

This briefing presents the state of the EU’s finances as initially set for 2021 to 2027, as updated in June 2023, and provides an overview of how the EU’s financial means have been impacted by two major unexpected crises. It provides background information in view of the Commission’s adoption of the MFF revision, scheduled for 20 June 2023.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Long-term EU budget for 2021 to 2027: State of play‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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