Text adopted by Parliament, single reading  
2012/2803(RSP) - 13/03/2013  

The European Parliament adopted by 506 votes to 161, with 23 abstentions, a resolution tabled by the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL Groups, on the European Council conclusions of 7/8 February concerning the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

Parliament rejects, in its current form, the MFF agreement concluded between the Heads of State and Government as it does not reflect the priorities and concerns expressed by Parliament – notably in its resolution of 23 October 2012 – and disregards Parliament's role and competences as set out in the Treaty of Lisbon.

Parliament underlines that it will only vote on the MFF Regulation and the Interinstitutional Agreement after the successful conclusion of substantial negotiations with the Council in order to ensure that the Union will be provided with a modern, forward-looking, flexible and transparent EU budget that: (i) can deliver growth and jobs and; (ii) bridge the gap between the EU's political commitments and budgetary means.

In addition, Parliament strongly opposes the current accumulation and rollover of outstanding payment claims in the EU budget, and expresses its firm opposition to a financial framework that might lead the EU budget into a structural deficit, against the provisions of the TFEU. Determined to prevent any further shifts of payments from 2013 to the next MFF, it states that it will not conclude these negotiations before the final adoption by Council and Parliament of an Amending Budget devoted to the sole purpose of covering all unpaid payment claims for 2012. Members also demand a political engagement from the Council that all legal obligations due in 2013 will be paid out by the end of this year.

The resolution:

  • states once more that negotiations on elements falling under the ordinary legislative procedure cannot be pre-empted by the European Council's conclusions on the MFF;
  • stresses the importance of substantially increasing its investments in innovation, research and development, infrastructure and youth, meeting the EU's climate change and energy objectives, improving education levels and promoting social inclusion, while fulfilling its international commitments;
  • believes that the next European Parliament and Commission – that will come into office following the 2014 European elections – should be in a position to reconfirm the Union's budgetary priorities and carry out a revision of the MFF 2014-2020;
  • requests that the agreed MFF ceilings for commitment and payment appropriations be used to the fullest extent when establishing the annual EU budgets; the maximum overall flexibility between and within headings, as well as between financial years, needs to be ensured in the next MFF;
  • stresses the importance of reaching an agreement on an in-depth reform of the own-resources system that reduces the share of GNI-based contributions to the EU budget to a maximum of 40% and phases out all existing rebates and correction mechanisms.

In the light of these considerations, Parliament gives a strong mandate to its negotiating team to conduct negotiations on an overall package that includes, in addition to the MFF, a compulsory and comprehensive revision, a maximum overall flexibility and an agreement on own resources, and that ensures the unity of the EU budget.

In the event that no MFF has been adopted by the end of 2013, Parliament states that, in this case, it would be ready to reach a swift agreement with the Council and Commission to adapt the internal structure of the MFF to reflect the Union's political priorities, and to ensure that the appropriate legal bases are in place for all EU policies and programmes by 2014.