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Friday, 29 November 2013

European Parliament voted in favour of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

Last week, the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2014 to 2020. The consent of the EP clears the way for the final approval by the Council in the coming weeks. Two and a half years of intense negotiations, since the Commission had tabled its proposals on 29 June 2011, have come to an end.
"It’s the culmination of a long negotiation process and good news to the citizens of Europe. Funding provided in the budget for innovation, research, education, cohesion or agriculture will definitely provide a major boost to our economies. The EU multiannual financial framework is thefoundation which will help to consolidate funds for growth and job creation", Vytautas Leškevičius, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania said.
After discussions, the European Parliament gave its consent to the EU multiannual financial framework and paved the way for a smooth start of the new 7-year financial framework's programmes from 1 January 2014.
"The negotiations of unprecedented intensity and difficulty with the EP were one of the biggest challenges of the Lithuanian and previous Presidencies. Today we can rejoice – the result properly reflects our efforts and the expectations of EU citizens and businesses", Mr Leškevičius said.
The approval of the multiannual financial framework, according to the Vice-Minister, is a long-awaited decision which will provide new opportunities for the citizens of Europe.
The goal was to reach final adoption during the Lithuanian Presidency to ensure that funds for the EU's main policies, for example, cohesion and agriculture, agreed upon in February 2013 at the European Council, reached members states on time.
The EU confirms that he will continue its engagement with the rest of the world and the relations with the East and South, and with EU strategic partners will remain a top priority. As global interdependence grows our security and prosperity needs to be promoted beyond EU borders. That is why the overall objective for external action under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be to ensure that the EU remains an influential and effective partner that promotes democracy, peace, solidarity, stability, poverty reduction and prosperity, both in our immediate EU Neighbourhood and across the wider world. It remains fully committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. EU funding will focus even more on helping the poorest in the world by concentrating support on fewer countries (like Sub-Saharan Africa) and fewer sectors (like sustainable and inclusive growth and good governance). The EU will furthermore maintain its efforts in crisis prevention in order to preserve peace and strengthen international security. EU external assistance instruments will also strengthen the EU's engagement with third countries on issues that are of global concern, such as climate change, environmental protection and regional instabilities, and allow the EU to respond rapidly and effectively to natural and man-made disasters around the world.

Source: Council of the European Union, European Commission