European Interest

Budget negotiators welcome fresh funds for just transition, warn against cuts to other policies

Flickr/European Parliament/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Following the presentation of legislative proposals, partly to finance the Green Deal, the MFF negotiation team asks the Commission to update its MFF proposal accordingly.

“We note with interest the presentation of the Commission’s proposals for a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and for a Just Transition Mechanism which, as part of the European Green Deal, are key commitments taken by President Ursula von der Leyen upon her approval by Parliament.

When it comes to the ongoing negotiation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, we welcome the proposal to provide a fresh allocation to the Just Transition Fund and would like to underline two messages.

First, the fight against climate change requires a larger common budget. Dedicating roughly €1 billion per year to just transition is a minimum requirement in the light of the overall additional investment needs identified by the Commission to achieve the current 2030 climate and energy targets (at least €260 billion combined per year). Parliament’s position on the next MFF provides an adequate response by not only including a just transition fund, but also safeguarding cohesion and agricultural policies and boosting the envelopes for research & innovation, investment, infrastructure, environment and biodiversity, inter alia – all programmes that make a significant contribution to climate action.

Secondly, new tasks must be financed by additional means, not by cutting other programmes. While proposing a fresh €7.5 billion for just transition, the Commission has not yet updated the overall figures in its original MFF proposal of 1.11% of the EU’s GNI. However, if the Commission’s MFF proposal is not increased or if it is reduced, it means that the Just Transition Fund will be financed by cutting €7.5 billion elsewhere – or by relying on creative accounting.

We therefore ask the Commission to update its MFF proposal in order to incorporate the net financial impact of the Just Transition Fund, as well as other commitments taken by President von der Leyen such as the tripling of Erasmus+, and thereby deliver a transparent and unequivocal message on the financing of those initiatives.

We also call on the President of the European Council, when he puts forward draft guidance for the Heads of State and governments, to also consider those initiatives as fresh top-ups that do not come to the detriment of other programmes.”

The EP’s negotiating team for the next MFF and Own Resources reform:

Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets; Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL), MFF co-rapporteur; Margarida Marques (S&D, PT), MFF co-rapporteur; José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), Own Resources co-rapporteur; Valérie Hayer (RENEW, FR), Own Resources co-rapporteur; Rasmus Andresen (Greens/EFA, DE)

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