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What is MFF and why is it our best ally in the fight against poverty?


With the world facing devastating health and economic crises, global cooperation and solidarity are more important than ever. We are leading up to a crucial moment that will test European leaders’ commitment to these principles.

Soon the European Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework will be negotiated, and EU leaders will decide how much the EU will invest in the future of our planet and its people for the next seven years.

But what is the MFF? Here’s an explainer for you to become a budget nerd and urge your representatives to act for a fairer world.

What is MFF and why is everyone (at least in Brussels!) talking about it?

The Multiannual Financial Framework, also known as the MFF, is the European Union’s long-term budget covering 2021-2027. The resources proposed for the next MFF are distributed across seven headings, representing the EU’s long-term priorities.

The European Commission adopted its first proposal for the EU’s long-term budget on 2 May 2018. But coming to an agreement that would satisfy all EU member states has been a long and complex process — and it isn’t over yet.

To respond to the economic and social fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission proposed a revamped long-term EU budget on 27 May 2020. The proposal includes an emergency recovery instrument called Next Generation EU to help repair the immediate damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic and kick-start the recovery.

The Commission’s proposal over the next seven years totals €1,850 billion. This includes a revised long-term EU budget of €1,100 billion for 2021-2027 and a temporary reinforcement of €750 billion ( €500 billion in grants and €250 billion in loans) ⁠for Next Generation EU.

What does ONE want the MFF to deliver?

There is one part of the budget that we at the ONE Campaign particularly care about: Heading 6, or the “Neighborhood and the World” heading. Every euro invested outside the EU’s borders must come from this part of the budget, which includes the EU’s aid budget.

Leaders must agree to allocate sufficient funds to this part of the budget so that the EU can lead in the fight against extreme poverty, inequality, and preventable diseases. COVID-19 is impacting the people, communities, and countries that are least able to withstand the shock. That means the EU’s investment in overseas aid is more important than ever. The World Bank estimates that COVID-19 could push 71 million to 100 million people into extreme poverty.

Investing in Europe’s partners, including Africa, is not only the right thing to do — it’s also smart, because in this pandemic none of us are safe until all of us are safe. Europe will only recover when its partners do too.

We have a once-in-seven-year opportunity to convince leaders to urgently take action. We are calling on them to endorse the Commission’s revised proposals for external action, and ambitiously invest in Europe and Africa’s shared future.

Where does the MFF process currently stand and what happens next?

There is currently no political agreement between the EU member states on the EU’s next long-term budget. However, they will meet again on 17-18 July to try to negotiate a deal.

After the EU Heads of State and Government reach an agreement, the European Parliament will need to consent. Members of the European Parliament can vote yes or no to the deal, but they cannot propose amendments.

How can you support our #ONEChance to deliver for the future?

In our interconnected world, we are only as strong as our weakest link. The next MFF is an opportunity to deliver on European citizens’ demand for the EU to address the greatest challenges of our generation, such as extreme poverty, climate change, and future pandemics. Safety requires solidarity, therefore we stand with the most vulnerable, whether they live across the street or across the ocean.

Now you know that EU aid is our biggest ally in the fight against extreme poverty, it’s time for you to take this unique opportunity to call for an ambitious long-term budget and reach zero poverty by 2030.

Ask your leaders to invest in EU aid.This is their #ONEchance to build a future where everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity.

Sign our petition now!

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