Repayments for recovery plan “ticking time bomb” in EU budget

Repayments for recovery plan “ticking time bomb” in EU budget


Following the presentation of the EU budget 2024, EP’s lead rapporteur Siegfried Mureșan pointed out that the EU is now facing the consequences of a too rigid long-term financial framework.

In a meeting with Members of the Committee on Budgets on Wednesday, Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner responsible for the EU Budget, presented a draft EU budget of €189.3 billion for 2024, to be complemented by an estimated €113 billion in grants under the “NextGenerationEU” recovery plan.

Siegfried Mureșan (EPP, RO), general rapporteur for the EU budget 2024, commented on the proposal:

“The proposed annual budget shows that we are now facing the negative consequences of an EU multiannual budget which was designed too tight from the very beginning. The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) has no room for manoeuvre, not enough margins, and not enough flexibility to face unexpected developments. The current MFF needs a significant revision which I expect to be completed by the end of the year so that we can adopt a final budget for 2024 capable of financing properly our priorities.

We have a ticking time bomb within the budget of the European Union which is the repayment of interest rates generated primarily by the NextGenerationEU. Against the advice of the European Parliament, these payments are part of the EU Budget. Their costs have increased significantly, from EUR 2.1 billion, to EUR 3.9 billion. The scope of the EU budget is to provide support to farmers, to enterprises, students, researchers. It is not to pay interest rates. This is why we, as the Parliament, call for all the EU interest rates to be outside the ceilings of the budget, not within the budget and herewith reducing the appropriations for budgetary priorities.

We call upon the European Commission to stand up for a budget which corresponds to the needs of EU citizens and enterprises. The Commission needs to resist pressure from the Council to keep the EU budget at low level. Our objective, as the European Parliament, is a stronger economy and a more resilient society through future oriented investments. We have to improve our energy independence as this is essential for the security of the European citizens. We have to invest in the digital and green transitions. We have to also strengthen democratic institutions and respond to challenges in Ukraine and our Neighbourhood which are essential to the security within the borders of the 27 Member States as well.”

MEPs will now look into the proposal in detail. Parliament will vote its position for the budgetary negotiations during October. The 21-day conciliation period then runs from 24 October to 13 November. If no agreement between Parliament and Council has been found by the end of the conciliation period, the Commission must propose a second draft budget, and negotiations continue. The full calendar for the budgetary procedure 2024 is available here.

On 7 June, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner responsible for the Budget and Human Resources, has presented to the Members of the Committee on Budgets the Commission’s Draft Budget for the year 2024, right after its adoption by the college of Commissioners. The proposed annual budget amounts to €189.3 billion in commitments.

In line with Article 314 TFEU, this presentation kicks off the annual budgetary procedure, whereby Parliament is expected to respond to Council’s position on the draft budget in the autumn.


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