Politics & Economics

Special EU summit greenlights MFF mid-term revision to increase funding for Ukraine

February 2024
By Flaminia Oriani

EU Leaders gathered in Brussels for a special meeting to approve a mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 that will allow for additional funding in several key areas such as Ukraine support, migration and the external dimension, the strategic technologies for Europe platform (STEP), Next Generation EU interest payments, special instruments, new own resources and elements that reduce the impact on national budgets.

While farmers were flooding the EU district with their tractors asking for increasing support to the agricultural sector, EU Leaders were facing the difficult task of convincing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn to lift his veto on additional funding for Ukraine support.

Orbàn had already prevented the approval of the EU budget revision in December, when EU Leaders did not manage to override Hungarian position. After weeks of negotiations with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz mediated by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Council and Commission Presidents Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, yesterday the European Council unanimously approved the increased support to Ukraine and the MFF revision. The only concession made to Orbàn was for an annual discussion of the package and a possible revision every two years, if necessary.

Besides Ukraine support, a mix of new and existing funds will address the urgent challenges related to migration, border management and neighbourhood policy and the need to ensure the EU’s strategic sovereignty and help make the European Union more competitive through a new platform for strategic technologies for Europe.

EU leaders also agreed to increase funding dedicated to solidarity and emergency aid reserve and convened to continue the work on new own resources.

Finally, to cover additional costs and fulfil the EU’s legal obligation related to Next Generation EU interest payments, Member States agreed on a cascade mechanism. If financing for the interest payments cannot be found within the existing EU budget, a new instrument that goes beyond the maximum amounts for the current MFF can be introduced.