“Time to modernise EU expenditure”

02.05.2018 - Article

How the EU spends its money is laid down in the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The negotiations for 2021‑2027 have now begun. “Germany is prepared to shoulder greater responsibility provided the burden is shared fairly”, said Foreign Minister Maas.

The multiannual financial framework (MFF) is the EU’s financial plan and sets out in which areas the EU is to spend more or less money over a seven‑year period. It sets down the annual maximum amounts which the EU is permitted to spend on any given policy field. An annual EU budget is adopted on the basis of the financial framework. The MFF is thus an important means of defining the Union’s political priorities over the years.  The current MFF will run until 2020.

Making decisions on the future

More investment in research or would it be better to pump more funding into sustainable agriculture? Should the aid for weak regions be cut so that additional tax revenue can go towards improving border management? The MFF is an important tool for making decisions about the future.

The European Commission has now presented a draft for the new MFF, which is to apply from 2021. Foreign Minister Maas and Finance Minister Scholz outlined their position in a statement. Both Ministers are committed to the fundamental modernisation of EU expenditure. Furthermore, the Ministers stated, Europe has to invest more in a common foreign policy.

To achieve real reform, the EU must enhance its ability to innovate, as well as better protect its citizens against threats at home and abroad, and give them a greater voice in the global arena – while standing up for our fundamental values.

How do citizens want to see funds distributed?

During Open Day at the Federal Foreign Office, visitors were invited to take a look at the subject and then vote for what they thought the EU should spend its money on. They could place three coins on ballot boxes representing the different policy fields to show where they felt the priorities should lie.

The results of this admittedly unscientific and unrepresentative survey showed very clear preferences. People would invest most in education and research, climate and environment, foreign and security policy, and economic Promotion.

Find out more:

Multiannual Financial Framework and Europe's Budget

Related content


Top of page