15. 11. 2011 12:14

Conference on Multiannual Financial Framework took place at Prague

On Monday 14th November, a conference on Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) after 2013 took place at Prague under auspices of Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas. Representatives of the Czech government, state administration, the Commision, Polish and Danish EU Presidency and other participants discussed the new MFF prospects.

Prime Minister Petr Nečas emphasized in his opening speech that although the topic of the financial perspective has taken a back seat in the present crisis, MFF itself can be an instrument for crisis prevention. The MFF should be observed from the standpoint of EU competitiveness. Therefore, the structure of the EU budget and its better targeting are important. “A strong Cohesion Policy is a priority of the Czech Government,” emphasized Petr Nečas.

Peder Lundquist, Deputy Permanent Secretary of State from the Danish Ministry of Finance, addressed the income side of the budget, specifically the proposed financial transaction tax. Supporters of this tax are supposed to argue that the financial sector should bear the costs of crisis solution, because it was involved in its formation. According to Lundquist, it is necessary to consider possible impacts of a new tax introduction on business activities in Europe. Claus Grube, Permanent Secretary of State at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, subsequently added details concerning the procedural securing of MFF negotiations and appealed for constructive partnership and clearly defined priorities among Member States. Miroslav Kalousek, Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic, emphasized that a complicated search for compromise concerning the MFF is ahead of us.

Maciej Szpunar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, introduced the main issues of the negotiations on financial framework from the viewpoint of Polish EU Presidency. The opinion of the Commision was afterwards presented by Stefan Lehner, Director, European Commision, Directorate-General for Budget. He emphasized the need to reach an agreement before the end of 2012 and the need for more effective use of resources.

The second panel was dedicated in detail to new own resources. The participants discussed in subsequent panels the Cohesion Policy and Common Agricultural Policy. The conference was concluded by Vojtěch Belling, Secretary of State for European Affairs, who stated that there is consensus concerning the need to modernise the MFF and to harmonize it with the objectives of competitiveness.

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