Negotiation boxes and blocks: Crafting a deal on the EU Budget and Cohesion policy

Cite as: Mendez, C., Wishlade, F., & Bachtler, J. (2012) Negotiation boxes and blocks: Crafting a deal on the EU Budget and Cohesion policy. European Policy Research Papers No. 82, European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

This aim of this paper is to provide a review of the formal negotiations on the EU budget and Cohesion policy, following the publication of the Commission’s reform proposals in2011. The scene is set with a brief overview of the on-going crisis in the EU, which has provided a very challenging context for budgetary and policy reform. The progress achieved in the budgetary negotiations on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) is thenexamined, before an analysis of the implications for national and regional eligibility andfinancial allocations under EU Cohesion policy using the latest available data and takinginto account changes introduced in the Presidencies’ negotiation boxes. Negotiations on the governance framework are also reviewed inlcuding significant amendments in a number of key areas with a view to providing more flexibility to Member States and arguably leading to a dilution of the Commission’s proposals. This applies inparticular to thematic concentration and to the new performance framework.

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