European leaders met on 20-21 February 2020 in Brussels to discuss the EU budget. Negotiations over the MFF are always fraught, yet this time around they are shaping up to be even more acrimonious than usual as the EU tries to plug a Britain-shaped hole in its finances worth €75 billion over the next seven years.

What is the MFF? In order to provide predictability and clarity for planning purposes (and also because it doesn’t want to see a massive bust-up over money every single year), the EU operates what is charmingly called a “Multiannual Financial Framework” (MFF). It’s basically a seven-year framework setting out a cap (or ‘ceiling’) on what the EU may spend on its various policy areas. The old MFF covers 2014 to 2020, and the period currently under negotiation will begin in 2021 (meaning there is not much time left to come to an agreement).

The MFF is not a budget in itself, but it does regulate how the EU budget is actually spent. So, allocating a higher ceiling for one policy area over another means that certain programmes potentially receive a greater share of resources than others. In this way, the negotiations can help set what policy areas the EU will prioritise in future.

Budgets talks have exposed divisions in the EU. The self-styled “frugal four” (Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark) would like to see EU spending curtailed, while the larger group of 15 so-called “friends of cohesion” want to see funding on things such as infrastructure projects in less-developed Member States remain level.

What do you think the EU spends its money on? We’ve put together a poll below on the budget negotiations. See how much you know!

What do you think the EU spends its money on?

How big is the EU budget?
How much is spent on administration?
What receives the most money from the EU budget?
What do you think the EU spends its money on?
You got {{userScore}} out of {{maxScore}} correct

What should the EU budget prioritise? Where should the money go? Which areas should European funding concentrate on? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: Bigstock – (c) Jayemm

16 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Simone Mamo

    It would be nice if the EU funded Cultural activities band the arts even more. These are careers where many artists, dancers, singers are asked to work for free in return for exposure, it would be great to fund performances, museums, exhibitions which would help those working in these professions. Also countries that have a heavy load of illegal migrants should receive a more help. That will not go to NGOs hiring more staff, but that pays for the medical help, living expenses etc.

  2. avatar

    Military, Healthcare and Education

  3. avatar

    Now you are discusing the PAC…but the money don,t go to the family farmers but to the big, industrial ones.

  4. avatar

    There is no “European” money. There is a racket by the Commission towards the net contributor countries towards the countries that eat each other.

  5. avatar

    Mostly farm subsidies and economic stimulation. Administration is only 7% of the budget

  6. avatar

    Used to be the common agricultural policy

  7. avatar

    EU funds nothing, taxpayers money does.

  8. avatar

    The European Union must spend its money on women and wine :) learn with us to have a good life!

  9. avatar

    The EU money is not well spend by the government of the several countries . Look at Portugal, the Oligarcs, are rich, the coutry is in a bankrupcy.

  10. avatar

    Firstly it’s not the European unions money,it’s money that’s been paid to them by member nations collected from their taxpayers,and it’s mainly spent on the small beggar,sorry,’Friends of cohesion’ nations in order to bribe them to stay in it.

  11. avatar

    laundering of public money by corrupt politicians and accomplices, it is enough that the consent of the conspirators, with total impunity

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