As things are moving fast towards the end of the year and, more importantly, towards the end of the current MFF, some last updates and negotiations of the new Framework and its programmes occurred. Many of the latest news are now quite final in nature. As outlined in our last Weekly Update, the EU Council adopted a conclusion on the new MFF and NextGenerationEU - the EU’s Covid-19 recovery package - just last week.
This paved the way for the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to give their final consent this week on the new MFF, which means that the Framework can start to be implemented from 1 January 2021.
For the implementation of the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument, the EU's own resources decision will need to be approved in all Member States. A provisional political agreement on the biggest part (90% of the budget) of the NGEU, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), was reached last night between Parliament and the Council of the EU.
In addition to that, political agreements were reached on several other programmes this week, now awaiting formal adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, before entering into force. This includes:
- RRF (see above, dedicated to recovery from Covid-19)
- LIFE (environment and climate)
- Rights and Values (anti-discrimination, (gender) equality, rights of children, …)
Yet, a number of potentially important programmes for the sport sector, such as Erasmus+, ERDF and ESF+, among others, are still missing their final legal texts. These will have to be finalised under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU in the new year and will then apply retroactively. It therefore remains to be seen whether sport will be included e.g. in the ERDF, as advocated by the EOC EU Office.
Despite what the final regulation may look like, 1,9% of the total Erasmus+ budget will, in any case, be allocated to sport-related activities. This was agreed by Parliament and the Council of the EU at the end of last week. This marks a significant increase and will mean that almost €500 Mio. will support the Erasmus+ sport chapter during the next seven years.
Last but not least, as the MFF only represents the overall framework for the EU’s budget for the next seven years, agreements are still needed on the yearly budgets. The first of these, for the year 2021, is expected to be adopted today by Parliament. Hand in hand with the yearly budget come the legislative priorities for the respective year. These set the agenda for the year to come and provide the EU and its stakeholders (including sport) with a guideline on what to focus on in key areas.