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European heads of state and government will resume their discussions on the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 at the European Council meeting on 7-8 February, where they will try to reach a unanimous agreement. Talks were suspended at the European Council of 22-23 November and will now pick up from this point.
This means that the compromise proposal from 22 November tabled by the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, constitutes the starting point for the discussions during the forthcoming European Council. Since the end of November President Van Rompuy has continued consulting EU leaders in order to further prepare the ground for a compromise.
The General Affairs Council prepared the European Council's MFF discussions on 20 November and will not revisit this issue before the next European Council resumes its work on this file.
If the European Council reaches agreement, its content feeds into the legislative work:
- The part of the agreement relating to the MFF regulation and the rules on own resources will be translated into legislative acts. These are adopted by the Council after the consent or the opinion of the European Parliament is obtained, depending on the act;
- The part of the agreement relating to financial aspects of the sector-specific acts provides guidance for the Council to finalise legislative work in co-decision with the European Parliament.
The objective is to conclude the legislative work in time for the new spending programmes to be implemented from 1 January 2014 onwards.