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The EU Budget for 2014 – 2020 : invest in Europe’s young people

On the 7th and 8th of February 2013, EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss a major item on their agenda: the EU's budget for 2014-2020, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The European Council finally reached an agreement. In this article we give an overview of the highlights of this agreement and their impact on European cities and regions.

  • In line with fiscal consolidation efforts in the Member States, EU leaders agreed to cut back the financial resources available to the EU from the level of the current MFF 2007-2013. 
  • However, in order to enhance growth and jobs, funds for research, innovation and education have been increased. 
  • In partnership with the European Parliament, the Presidency will also manage negotiations on the individual legislation needed to mobilise this funding in the interests of stability, jobs and growth. 
  • The regional policy's share within the budget is to be retained. This is very important as this is the EU's main tool for sustainable growth, competitiveness and solidarity. 


Special Youth employment package

As youth (un)employment plays a big role in European cities and regions, it is important to note the special ‘youth employment package’ proposed by the European Commission.  This package includes a proposed recommendation for a 'youth guarantee'. This guarantee is designed to ensure that all young people up to the age of 25 receive a 'quality' offer of a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The proposed recommendation urges member states to establish strong partnerships with stakeholders and ensure 'early intervention' by employment services and other partners supporting young people.


Yves Leterme, deputy secretary general of the OECD in charge of education, social affairs, governance and entrepreneurship: ‘It is a great idea to get local and regional authorities involved in the drawing up of policies in the fields of youth, education and vocational training at the OECD.’ 

President of the Committee of the Regions, Mr. Ramón Luis Valcárcel: ‘ I stress the need to fully involve local and regional authorities in shaping and implementing the new initiative.’

Stronger link between cohesion policy and Europe 2020

Finally, a new category of transition regions has been introduced to secure a stronger link between cohesion policy, the Europe 2020 strategy and budgetary policy. President of the Committee of the Regions, Mr. Ramón Luis Valcárcel explained that the regions are very concerned about macro-economic conditionality as this could undermine the much-needed continuity of public and private investment leveraged by EU funding.

For more information there is a graphic guide on  the website of the Council of the European Union or read the 10 things you need to know to follow the MF negotiations. Please also visit the CoR-website and the website of the Council of the European Union.