On 2 December 2013, the Council gave its approval to the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014–2020.
The MFF regulation enables the European Union to spend up to EUR 959.99 billion in commitments and EUR 908.40 billion in payments over the next seven years. In order to take into account the tight economic situation, this is the first time in the EU's history that the financial framework is smaller compared to the previous long-term budget (3.5% and 3.7% respectively less than under the MFF 2007-2013).
A strong emphasis is put on expenditure aimed at boosting growth. The first category of expenditure, “Smart and Inclusive growth”, which includes research and innovation, is one of the main budgetary priorities, with €450.763 million allocated.
The third category, “Security and citizenship”, that includes Public health, increases in 26,5% compared to the 2007-2013 period, reaching €15.686 million for the 2014-2020 period.
The adoption of the MFF closes complex and long negotiations that began in June 2011, when the European Commission first presented its proposal. Agreement on the MFF's overall level and its key contents was reached at the February European Council this year. On 27 June 2013, the Council, Parliament and the Commission reached political agreement on the package and, on 19 November 2013, the Parliament gave its official approval to the agreement.
Having the MFF been formally adopted, the individual spending Programmes, including Horizon 2020, could also be approved. Indeed, Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for research and innovation for 2014-2020, was formally and finally adoptedon 3 December 2013 by the national ministers during the Competitiveness Council meeting. The budget for Horizon 2020 has been set at 70.2 billion euro(2011 prices).
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