“A short term, we need to resolve the mid-term review of the Multiannual Framework. This is an urgent task that we have on the table, […] but we are working discreetly and I hope that we can, efficiently, build some commitments towards some consensus on this important topic”, said Charles Michel, in an interview with the Lusa agency and other European media in Brussels.
Days before an informal European Council held on Friday in Granada by the Spanish presidency of the European Union (EU) and focused on community support for Ukraine and the budgetary issue, the official stressed that the bloc has to “do its part “.
This is two days after Ukraine announced that it is analyzing with the White House the situation created by the North American Congress which, to avoid a government shutdown, approved a temporary financing law that does not include new aid to Kyiv.
“I think it is very important that we do our part and our work and that is what we are doing. The review of the Multiannual Financial Framework is the opportunity to clearly show that we support the mechanism for Ukraine. […] This should be a priority […] to make it clear that we support Ukraine in the long term”, highlighted Charles Michel, when questioned by Lusa in this interview.
The matter should also be addressed at the European summit in October, but the most intense discussions should take place in December.
Recalling the four-day, four-night negotiations on the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 in July 2020, when a recovery plan based on an unprecedented joint debt issuance was approved, Charles Michel compared: “We did it and it was a very important sign […] and perhaps now it is necessary to have more than four days and four nights, perhaps five or six days.”
According to European sources, the most difficult part of the budget negotiations is not regarding support for Kyiv, which generates consensus among the 27, but rather about other European priorities and how to finance them.
“In any case it will be necessary to support – and we will support – the reconstruction of Ukraine, which will be costly not only for the EU, but also for the partners”, concluded Michel.
The statements come one day after the European Parliament approved its position on the reform of the Union’s multiannual budget, revising the amendment proposal presented last June by the European Commission by 10 billion euros.
Since then, the EU has been discussing the revision of the budget for the period 2024-2027, following a proposal to set aside 50 billion euros to support Ukraine’s recovery, 15 billion for migration management and 10 billion under of the STEP platform for ‘green’ and technological investments, in a step towards a future sovereign wealth fund.
For Ukraine, a financial reserve is planned for the next four years, with loans and grants for post-war reconstruction of the country, an amount that will be mobilized depending on the situation on the ground.???????
At stake is a review of the Multiannual Financial Framework, until 2027, which together with the Recovery Fund currently amounts to 2.018 billion euros in current prices (1.8 billion euros in 2018 prices).
The Russian military offensive on Ukrainian territory has plunged Europe into what is considered the most serious security crisis since the Second World War.
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