Tuesday, 2 July 2013

EU-MFF 2014-2020 agreement reached: a budget for Erasmus+

Negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) which will define the EU budget 2014-2020 have just been closed. After more than one month of tense trialogue negotiations, the Presidents of the three EU institutions met to try to break the gridlock and an agreement was finally reached on 27 June (more flexibility between years on payments and commitments, commitment of the Council to ensure 2013 obligations are honoured, revision clause in 2016, the promise to initiate a serious reflection on own resources...). It seems that budget lines will not really change from what had been decided during the last EU Summit in February (with a global amount of €960bn), as political groups rather concentrated on those highly sensitive issues. An additional €150 million was frontloaded in 2014 and 2015 for Erasmus in the framework of measures adopted to tackle youth unemployment with a focus on apprenticeships.  Youth unemployment was also at the core of the European Summit's agenda last 27-28 June, where member states agreed to put in place the Quality Framework for Traineeships in early 2014. The MFF political agreement will be voted this Wednesday in Parliament plenary session and endorsed by the Council of Ministers. Then only, the Parliament will be able to adopt more than 60 Regulations awaiting for their budget allocation, among which the new Erasmus+ programme.