MEPs and the German EU presidency on Tuesday 10 November reached a decisive agreement on the 2021-2027 European budget linked to the recovery plan, with parliamentarians welcoming an extension of 16 billion euros for programs flagships, especially education and health.
This agreement was announced by MEPs, by the spokesperson for the German presidency – who was negotiating on behalf of the 27 member states – and by several European officials.
In July, the Twenty-Seven had agreed on a post-Covid recovery plan of 750 billion euros backed by a multi-year European budget of 1,074 billion euros, but with amounts deemed insufficient by the MEPs for several programs deemed crucial.
The agreement, Tuesday 10 November, puts an end to bitter talks, started more than two months ago between the European Parliament and the States, and which threatened to delay or paralyze the implementation of the budget and the recovery plan economic.
“We obtained the strengthening of the budget to support health, education, job creation”, added José Fernandes (EPP, pro-EU right), another negotiator in Parliament. According to the list that it made public, the Erasmus program (education) would thus be reinforced by an additional 2.2 billion euros, 3.4 billion more would be dedicated to health, 1.5 billion additional for safety in borders, or even 1 billion more for humanitarian aid.
This agreement on the multiannual financial framework will have to be confirmed by the whole of Parliament but also by all the Member States unanimously. However, Hungary threatens to veto the budget as well as the stimulus plan that is backed by it. Budapest is indeed up against a mechanism conditioning the payment of European funds to respect for the rule of law – on which MEPs reached an agreement last week with the German presidency.
Faced with the worsening pandemic and the economic crisis, “I hope everyone will understand the urgency of the situation and help pave the way for a swift implementation of the budget and the recovery plan. Nobody needs new obstacles and delays,” has warned the German Ambassador to the EU, Michael Clauss.