(14 February 2018) – Ahead of the Informal Leaders’ meeting on 23 February 2018, the European Commission is today setting out various options – and their financial consequences – for a new and modern, long-term EU budget that delivers efficiently on its priorities after 2020.
At their meeting on 23 February, the European Union’s Leaders will discuss about how to ensure that the priorities they have set for the Union – on 16 September 2016 in Bratislava and on 25 March 2017 in the Rome Declaration – can be adequately funded and thus turned into reality. Both elements – defining common priorities and equipping the Union to implement them – are inseparable.
In regard to Cohesion Policy, the Commission has put forward three scenarios:
• Scenario 1: Maintaining support from the European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and the Cohesion fund for all Member States. Efficiency gains will be made through modulating aid intensities and better targeting support.
• Scenario 2: Ending support for the more developed and transition regions, leading to a reduction of €95 billion. Countries like Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and even many regions in Spain and Italy would lose support.
• Scenario 3: Discontinuing investment for less developed regions altogether and focus solely on cohesion countries. This would lead to a reduction of almost €125 billion.
The European Commission will table its formal proposal for the next long-term EU budget in the coming months, at the latest in early May 2018. In the meantime, the Commission will continue listening to all stakeholders, including via the public consultations on the priorities of the EU that were launched in January 2018.