EU budget: Essential reading
On Wednesday, the EU will start to put its money where its mouth is.
Shocked by Brexit, European Union leaders have pledged to revamp the bloc to make it fit for the challenges of the 21st century and more relevant to its citizens. There has been no shortage of summits, speeches and blueprints, all promising to revitalize the European project.
Now crunch time is looming. Commissioner Günther Oettinger will present his proposal for the EU’s next long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework, which will run from 2021 to 2027.
A period of intense wrangling — which is certain to last months and could go on for years — will follow before the European Parliament and Council of the EU sign off on the final version.
The Commission has billed the next budget as a “litmus test” for the post-Brexit EU. “This is a time for leaders to commit financially to the kind of Union they want,” it said in a paper published in February.
Among the questions facing the EU: How to deal with the €12 billion to €13 billion shortfall that will be left by Britain’s departure; whether to cut and reform the Common Agricultural Policy, which accounts for some 38 percent of spending; whether to revamp the approach to regional funding, which makes up about a third of the budget; and how much to spend on new priorities such as border control, security and defense.
POLITICO is tracking every twist in the budget debates and battles. Ahead of Oettinger’s big announcement, here are some highlights of our coverage so far.
The big picture
Brussels looks to link EU payouts to justice standards
Commission aims to send signal on democratic backsliding and get around Polish and Hungarian vetoes.
EU budget hawks under attack
With the U.K. out and Germany and France feeling generous, pressure is growing on other countries to dig deeper.
Breaking down the EU budget
As the Commission finalizes its big blueprint, the key issues in infographics.
Click Here: Geelong Cats Guernsey
Europe’s leaders ignore the numbers ahead of ‘disgusting’ budget talks
A summit in Brussels is meant to focus on the big picture — but it will be hard to avoid the big hole left by Brexit.
Commission gets glimpse of post-Brexit EU budget horrors
In the worst-case scenario, radical budget cuts would mean no more cohesion funds in most of Western Europe.
Brexit divorce raises Brussels’ fear of EIB money grab
The world’s largest multilateral bank may be angling for more funding from the EU budget to make up for the eventual loss of the U.K.’s contribution.
France wants more ambitious, tougher EU budget
Emmanuel Macron is ready to put more into the bloc’s pot — but wants less to go to Poland and Hungary if they don’t play ball.
The Cappuccino Index
POLITICO tests the claim that EU membership costs citizens less than a cup of coffee a day.
Günther Oettinger lands on his feet (again)
The budget commissioner receives some welcome news from back in Germany as he works out the EU’s long-term finances.
Top MEP warns new EU budget could be more of the same
Member countries ‘take some pleasure in seeing the European Union begging for money,’ Ingeborg Gräßle says.
European Parliament budget chair sets out bold aims
EU governments should ‘transfer a portion of their national spending,’ Jean Arthuis says.
Common Agricultural Policy
Big farms set to pay the price as EU eyes subsidy cuts
Commissioner Oettinger expects farm spending will fall by 6 percent in the 2021-2027 budget cycle.
Macron goes where no French leader has dared to tread …
… by suggesting farmers may get less EU cash.
New EU farm plan seeks to put national capitals at the helm
Many doubt that the Common Agricultural Policy shake-up will result in tangible improvements for the environment.
Where European countries stand in the scramble for farm funds
The Common Agricultural Policy, which counts for nearly 40 percent of the EU budget, may no longer be sacrosanct.
Europe’s poor regions fear cuts in budget battle
Central and Eastern European governments are lobbying hard for the EU to safeguard cohesion spending.
Regions demand Brexit compensation from EU budget
Brussels must reconcile competing visions of how the EU’s multiyear budget should be raised and spent.
Eastern countries commit to bigger EU budget after Brexit
In Budapest, Oettinger wins commitments — but from eight net recipients of EU budget funds.
How Europe can punch back at Beijing and Washington
In its next long-term budget, the EU must invest more in innovation to compete with the U.S. and China.
How to design an EU budget
Solidarity should guide distribution of cohesion funds, say Italian and German finance ministers.
Brexit’s (minimal) impact on the EU budget
Brexiteers say the U.K.’s departure will be a big problem for the EU’s finances. But there’s extra money to be found.
Europe needs to slash its budget to survive
Making the bloc more expensive isn’t just a blow to its finances, but its reputation.
This article is part of POLITICO’s new coverage of the EU budget, tracking the development of the seven-year Multiannual Financial Framework, and the first EU budget that will face a low or no contribution from the United Kingdom. This coverage includes the Budget Briefing newsletter every Monday afternoon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a complimentary trial.