The third EPRC webinar of 2021 was held February 17th (12:00 – 13:00 UK) over Zoom. Wolfgang Petzold, Deputy Director for Communication at the European Committee of the Regions, and Dr. Magdalena Sapała, Policy Analyst at the European Parliamentary Research Service, presented on: “Unanimity, flexibility, conditionality: How the EU budget 2021-2027 was negotiated and what it means for regions and cities”.
In their presentation, Sapała and Petzold discussed the schedule of budget negotiations for the new period and the major changes that current circumstances (e.g. Brexit, COVID) elicited. In December 2020, the EU adopted its new budget for the period 2021-2027, also known as the “Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)”, after 32 months of negotiations. While the size of new MFF is slightly below the level of the previous one (in terms of EU GNI for EU27), it will have about 1.5 times the size of the previous volume in case the allocation for a new instrument, “Next Generation EU” (NGEU), is factored in. The latter is meant to operate between 2021 and 2023 to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the EU will finance it with capital raised on financial markets – referred to as the “EU’s “Hamiltonian moment” by some media. The total of both parts of the package will EUR 1,824 billion and the largest part will be dedicated to economic, social and territorial cohesion.
The webinar addressed the following questions:
- What were the narratives and dynamics inside and between the EU institutions before and during the negotiation process and how does the EP assess the result?
- How have events such as Brexit, the emerging new priorities following the European elections in May 2019 and COVID-19 influenced the process?
- What does the new budget mean for EU regions and cities?
Dr Magdalena Sapala is policy analyst at the Budgetary Policies Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service since 2015. Between 2012 and 2015, she was research professor at the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels, and assistant professor at the University of Economics in Poznan between 2000 and 2012, where her focus was on the EU budget and cohesion policy.
Wolfgang Petzold is deputy director for communication at the European Committee of the Regions since 2008, has worked for the European Commission DGs for employment (1992-95) and regional policy (2001-2008), and for regional ministries in Germany (1987-92; 1995-2001). He holds a degree in sociology, is a part-time lecturer, and occasionally publishes articles and books on EU affairs, in particular on cohesion policy.
Our next webinar will take place Wednesday March 3rd, when Alexandra Bulat, Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde, will present on “How local level contact shapes attitudes towards EU migrants” in the UK context, specifically.
Future EPRC webinars will delve on topics of regional policy and development.
If you would like to attend, watch out for updates and registrations by following @eprc_eu on Twitter