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Multiannual financial framework (MFF)

The EU’s MFF sets out the annual ceilings of expenditure that can be spent on various policy areas. The current framework runs for the period 2021-2027.

EU MFFs are adopted for multiannual periods (usually 7 years, as in the present case). They ensure that EU spending remains both predictable and stays within agreed limits. They allow the EU to plan over the medium term rather than from year to year, resulting in more effective policies and spending. This is as important for the EU as it is for the beneficiaries of its spending.

MFFs also define flexibility mechanisms that allow additional spending in exceptional circumstances, such as natural disasters.

An MFF is both an expression of the EU’s political priorities and a budgetary planning tool. The EU’s annual budgets must respect the ceilings agreed in the MFF.

MFFs are proposed by the European Commission and then negotiated in the Council as well as in the European Parliament. The Parliament’s consent and unanimity in the Council are required for its adoption.

MFFs are accompanied by an agreement between the EU institutions to implement budgetary discipline and to cooperate on budgetary matters.