The EU money-go-round: negotiating the 2021-27 multi-annual financial framework

The EU money-go-round

The European Union invariably has immense difficulty in agreeing the multi-annual financial framework (MFF), the long-term basis for its public expenditure. Although the headline total is a large number, at some €1,000 billion over the seven year duration of the MFF, it is small as a proportion of the EU economy, at barely one percentage point of gross domestic product.

Nevertheless, ‘money from Brussels’, can be important for many recipients, more so at a time when national budgets have been under pressure.

The usual sequence is for the European Commission to publish proposals, triggering a lengthy period of sparring by the member states, which then seek to reach a compromise.  The timetable is now becoming tight and it needs to be accelerated.

In this policy brief, Iain Begg examines some of the more intractable facets of the MFF negotiations inhibiting a deal, and puts forward a number of recommendations for reaching a viable, timely agreement and reforming the process.

Read the policy brief here.


Professor Iain Begg is the Academic Co-Director of the Dahrendorf Forum and Co-Chair of the Dahrendorf Working Group “The Future Of European Governance”. He is also a Professorial Research Fellow in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science.