The European Commission has welcomed on 10 November the agreement between the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on Europe’s next long-term budget and NextGenerationEU, the temporary recovery instrument. Once adopted, the package of a total of €1.8 trillion will be the largest package ever financed through the EU budget. It will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe, which will be greener, more digital, more resilient and better fit for the current and forthcoming challenges.
“Today’s agreement will allow to reinforce specific programmes under the long-term budget for 2021-2027 (including Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, EU4Health)” said Johannes Hahn European Commissioner in charge of the budget.
Main elements of today’s compromise include:
- More than 50% of the amount will support modernisation through policies that include research and innovation, via Horizon Europe; fair climate and digital transitions, via the Just Transition Fund and the Digital Europe Programme; preparedness, recovery and resilience, via the Recovery and Resilience Facility, rescEU and a new health programme, EU4Health.
- Traditional policies such as cohesion and common agricultural policy also continue to receive significant financial support, so much necessary to ensure stability in times of crisis and their modernisation that should contribute to the recovery and the green and digital transitions.
- 30% of the EU funds will be spent to fight climate change, the highest share ever of the largest European budget ever. The package also pays a specific attention to biodiversity protection and gender equality.
- The budget will have strengthened flexibility mechanisms to guarantee it has the capacity to address unforeseen needs. This is making it a budget fit not only for today’s realities but also for tomorrow’s uncertainties.
- As proposed in May 2020 and agreed by EU leaders on 21 July 2020, to finance the recovery, the EU will borrow on the markets at more favourable costs than many Member States and redistribute the amounts.
- A clear roadmap towards new own resources to help repay the borrowing. The Commission has committed to put forward proposals on a carbon border adjustment mechanism and on a digital levy by June 2021, with a view to their introduction at the latest by 1 January 2023. The Commission will also review the EU Emissions Trading System in spring 2021, including its possible extension to aviation and maritime.
- In terms of EU budget protection, now, for the first time, the EU will have a specific mechanism to protect its budget against breaches of the rule of law as agreed on 5 November. At the same time, final beneficiaries of EU funding in the Member State concerned will not be negatively affected by this mechanism.