One notes with satisfaction the conclusion of the Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations. We now have a seven-year budgetary framework for the EU. An extra recovery investment programme will enable member states to counter the coronavirus recession. A rule of law procedure prevents the allocation of EU funds to purposes that contradict the Union’s fundamental values.
However, the underlying realities must also be highlighted.
These are that:
- EU decision making structures are not delivering timely responses to crisis situations.
- Masked by the recovery programme, targets initially set by the European Commission and the European Parliament as resources needed to carry out the EU’s programme have by far not been reached.
- The European Council and the European Parliament diverge totally in how to seek solutions to Union challenges, such as on own resources.
- The European Parliament is fuelling the perception that it wants more taxation on citizens – does this improve its political standing?
- There has been little real progress in designing rule of law evaluative processes that minimise politicisation.
Rather than a Conference on the Future of Europe, we need an inter-governmental conference to first identify the priorities by which to unlock the most important institutional issues.