Plenković: Agreement on 2021-2027 MFF Should Be Reached as Soon as Possible

By 4 February 2020

ZAGREB, February 4, 2020 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has warned that EU member countries' leaders should reach a political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027 as soon as possible, so that the legislative part of the work could also be completed as soon as possible.

One should bear in mind that having a political agreement on the negotiating framework at the European Council is not enough, it is necessary to negotiate with the European Parliament the legislative part of the work as well, Plenković said in an interview with the politico.eu website during his visit to Portugal this past weekend, where he attended a meeting of the Friends of Cohesion informal group.

At the level of the European Council, the EU's highest political body made up of member-states' heads of state or government, a consensus needs to be reached regarding the amount of the budget for each year in the seven-year period as well as amounts for individual areas that are financed, such as cohesion, agriculture, research, etc.

After that, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament must agree on a set of legislative acts for the implementation of the MFF.

The meeting in Portugal was held three weeks ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the European Council, called by its president Charles Michel in an attempt to help reach a compromise on the EU's new seven-year budget.

The extraordinary summit, to be held on February 20, will give new political impetus to attempts to reach an agreement but it is too early to say if it will result in one, Plenković said.

Michel is in charge of preparing a draft agreement on the MFF, which Plenković says is good for Croatia as the country currently chairing the Council of the EU as it gives it more room to defend its own national interests.

Plenković repeated that for Croatia cohesion policy was extremely important, notably in light of the fact that Croatia was the youngest EU member and had so far used cohesion funds for a much shorter period of time than other members.

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