On 8 February 2013, the European Council reached an agreement on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), which defines the budgetary priorities of the EU for the period 2014-2020.
EU leaders agreed to cut, compared to the current MFF 2007-2013, the financial resources. However, in order to enhance growth and jobs, funds for research, innovation and education have been increased.
The new MFF is to enter into force in January 2014 and therefore a final agreement with the European Parliament has to be reached.
Despite the cuts made by the Council, EU Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn welcomed the budget of 325 billion euro for cohesion policy, the EU’s main investment tool for delivering the EU2020 Strategy goals for a smart growth and social inclusive Europe. The new cohesion policy should look to the future by creating new jobs through a low carbon economy.
“This deal also confirms the key elements of further reform to make the policy even more focused and efficient. Importantly, by accepting our new category of “transition regions” and the principle of providing funds for more developed regions as well, the agreement recognises that investments for growth and creating jobs are needed in all the regions of the EU,” said Commissioner Hahn.
Furthermore, Heads of state and government also agreed to earmark 29.30 billion euro for the “Connecting Europe” Facility, a new instrument to bridge the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital infrastructure.
According to the Council conclusions, the financial aid for the implementation of the Connecting Europe Facility for 2014-2020 will be 29,299 million euro including 10,000 million euro that will be transferred from the Cohesion Fund to fund transport 23,174 million euro (10,000 million euro will be transferred from the Cohesion Fund).
In addition, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will support interregional cooperation throughout the EU territory. 330 million euro of the Structural Funds resources for growth and jobs will be allocated to sustainable urban development.
Read here Commissioner Hahn’s statement.
To consult the Council conclusions, click here.