Brussels, Belgium – Yesterday morning, on the 21st of July, EU leaders agreed on the terms of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 as well as the Recovery Plan titled Next Generation EU. Throughout the discussions surrounding the MFF and recovery plan, the narrative has been clear, it needs to be people centred, sustainable as well as green. The pandemic has brought numerous implications to various industries and sectors, including health and economy. Hence, the budget needs to be ambitious and meet the needs of the member states most affected by the health crisis and impending economic crisis.
These developments made by the heads of state and government have been welcomed, although there have been shifts in the allocation of funds. The allocated amount presented under NGEU remains unchanged at €750 billion but the allocation to both grants and loans have changed, with grants falling from 500 billion to 390 billion and loans increasing from €250 billion to €360 billion.
Yet crucial programmes pertaining to health, climate and research have received decreased funding, primarily EU4Health, the Just Transition Fund, Erasmus+ and Horizon. It is crucial that these are allocated sufficient funds in order to secure and create a sustainable future for all Europeans. With the recovery plan called Next Generation EU, it is crucial that the youth are kept at the centre of this recovery; yet programmes which are in the interest of Europe’s young generation are being significantly reduced.
MEP and YEPP President Lidia Pereira states that “It is important that we get this right now, we need to be ambitious and make sustainable decisions. We will not accept cuts in programmes that are of interests to young people.”
It is unquestionable that NGEU and the MFF are vital tools in ensuring the future of the EU; consequently, we need to ensure that the Budget supports a greener, more competitive and digital Union. MEP’s have called for an extraordinary plenary to be held on the 23rd of July to discuss these developments.
For a greener, more sustainable and ambitious Europe. #NextGenerationEurope.