Pushing the Envelope: The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027

Mark Dempsey6th March 20201min
This briefing examines how negotiations on the next long-term budget of the EU have progressed since 2018 and considers Ireland’s priorities in the decisive next phase of the process.


Author : Cillian Rossi

The European Commission presented its proposal for the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 on 2 May 2018. Taking this date as the starting point, MFF negotiations at the political level have now lasted more than 21 months. During the negotiations on the MFF for 2014-2020, agreement at the level of the European Council had already been achieved by this point. The unsuccessful outcome of a special European Council meeting that took place on 20-21 February 2020 illustrates the challenge of reaching agreement on this cycle’s MFF.

Since the European Commission’s proposal, disagreements have emerged among Member States and between the institutions on issues like the size of the MFF and how to fill the estimated €60-€75 billion funding gap created by Brexit. This briefing paper outlines how negotiations have progressed to date. It then examines Irish Government priorities. The briefing concludes by considering the next steps in the process and suggesting a constructive role that Ireland could play in the decisive next phase of negotiations.

The paper is available to download here.