Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF): General Affairs Council looks ahead
At the meeting of the General Affairs Council (GAC) on 24 July 2012, the MFF again figured high on the agenda. Ministers were presented with an updated proposal by the Commission, and the Cyprus presidency informed ministers on the schedule of work in the second half of 2012. The presidency also reported back on the bilateral meetings with member states during the past couple of weeks.
"We feel 'wiser' now as to what the member states' concerns and priorities are, and this will help us find a consensual way forward in the negotiations," said Cyprus Deputy Minister A. Mavroyiannis, who chaired the meeting.
The amended Commission proposal takes account of Croatia's accession, likely to happen in mid-2013, as well as of the most recent economic data affecting member states' allocations under structural funds.
The MFF will be on the agenda at every GAC meeting under the Cyprus presidency, with work already picking up as soon as next month. The EU's long-term budget framework will be the sole issue to be discussed at an informal meeting of ministers for European affairs scheduled for 30 August. Ahead of the meeting of the European Council in October, it will be discussed at the GAC meetings on 24 September and 16 October.
The objective is to reach an agreement before the end of this year.
Presidency page on bilateral meetings
Presidency page: MFF work plan
Press release (pdf)
Council debate (video in several languages)
Press conference (video)
MFF negotiation pages: special report
Commission presentation of its amended proposal