On 21 July 2020, the European Council adopted conclusions on the recovery plan and multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027
As Europe mourns the loss of lives from the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Council extends its deepest sympathy to the victims and their families. As Europeans continue to face extraordinary challenges and uncertainty in their daily lives, all our efforts will remain focused on protecting citizens and overcoming the crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis presents Europe with a challenge of historic proportions. The EU and its Member States have had to adopt emergency measures to preserve the health of the citizens and prevent a collapse of the economy. We are slowly exiting the acute health crisis. While utmost vigilance is still required on the sanitary situation, the emphasis is now shifting to mitigating the socio-economic damage. This requires an unprecedented effort and an innovative approach, fostering convergence, resilience and transformation in the European Union. At the request of the Heads of State or Government, the Commission presented at the end of May a very wide-ranging package combining the future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and a specific Recovery effort under Next Generation EU (NGEU).
On the basis of the extensive consultations held at the level of the President of the European Council and the work done in the Council, the conclusions present a balanced solution catering for the interests and positions of all Member States. It is an ambitious and comprehensive package combining the classical MFF with an extraordinary Recovery effort destined to tackle the effects of an unprecedented crisis in the best interest of the EU.
NGEU and MFF go together. We need the Recovery effort as a quick and effective answer to a temporary challenge, but this will only yield the desired result and be sustainable if it is linked to and in harmony with the traditional MFF that has shaped our budgetary policies since 1988 and offers a long-term perspective.
The first part of these conclusions deal with the Recovery effort, which is significant, focused and limited in time. Significant because the effects of the crisis are far-reaching. Focused because it must target the regions and sectors that are most hit by the crisis. Limited in time because the MFF and the rules governing it remain the basic frame for the Union’s budgetary planning and implementation. The additional funds generated by the EU’s borrowing will be disbursed as grants and loans via the instruments and programmes of the MFF. This ensures consistency and coherence. Both NGEU and MFF will help transform the EU through its major policies, particularly the European Green Deal, the digital revolution and resilience.
The second part looks at the 2021-2027 MFF. The approach is based on the February proposal, which has been adapted to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and in the light of the measures taken under NGEU.