Press release – Important ground covered to facilitate an agreement on the MFF
21.11.2012, 18:51 (CET)
The Cyprus Presidency intervened today, November 21, at the European Parliament’s (EP) Plenary on crucial discussions, including the debate on the preparations of tomorrow’s special European Council meeting that will solely address the MFF, possible ways forward with the 2013 annual budget, as well as the upcoming Climate Change Conference, in Doha. Cyprus’ Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, expressed the Council’s optimism for an agreement on the MFF in the next two days, but also on the annual budget for 2013, in good time.

The European Parliament held a debate on the preparations of the Extraordinary European Council meeting on November 22-23, which aims to reach an agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2014-2020. MEPs repeated their stance and priorities on the MFF, which were also based on the EP’s interim report on the MFF 2014-2020, adopted at the October Plenary. 

An MFF cementing Fiscal Consolidation with investment in growth and jobs

During his intervention, Ambassador Mavroyiannis emphasised the efforts of the Cyprus Presidency and the time that has been devoted to the MFF negotiations, highlighting the close and constructive cooperation between the Cyprus Presidency and the EP throughout this process. The aim of the Cyprus Presidency has been to maintain the momentum and mature the dossier, thus preparing the file for a full discussion aiming at reaching an agreement this year.

“Taking into account also the wish of the European Parliament to wait for the vote on the relevant report, it was only in late October that we introduced figures for the first time in the Negotiating Box. Our proposal was underpinned by difficult political choices, trying to pave the way for a balanced agreement, taking into account as much as possible all the stakeholder’s positions, fully assuming our responsibility as an honest broker,” said Ambassador Mavroyiannis.

Ambassador Mavroyiannis stressed that in the Presidency’s view, the package should lead towards an eventual compromise.

“We have no choice but to reflect in the MFF the dire situation that the EU is facing. We need to cement together fiscal consolidation with investment in growth and jobs though an unavoidably tight MFF, which is our main investment tool,” he added.

He emphasised the importance of getting the EU's future financial framework right, stressing that “this is essential for the credibility of the Union and for its ability to deliver for and on behalf of its citizens”. 

Concluding, Ambassador Mavroyiannis said: “We are approaching the issue with respect and dignity. We will not change, we will continue to have the same ethical approach, assuming fully our responsibility with modesty yet ambition, trying to convince and be a catalyst of change, but we don’t force or impose, we are honest brokers. This is our role and mission.”

“Indeed we all have the right to veto, all Members States and of course this House as well. But veto is just the right to pull the plug from the bottom of the boat we are all on, with the certainty that the boat will sink. So let’s replace the threat of a veto and the vicious circle by a virtuous one and embark on this cathartic exercise, sticking together in adversity and coming out of it stronger and better off, bequeathing a better Europe to the future generations,” the Cypriot Deputy Minister concluded.

The consent of the EP is necessary in order to seal the deal on the MFF.

Possible ways forward on the 2013 annual budget

The EP Plenary also discussed the future possible ways of handling the 2013 EU Budget, after an agreement was not reached in the Conciliation procedure, which ended on Tuesday, November 13. Ambassador Mavroyiannis - who had chaired the relevant ECOFIN (Budget) Council meeting last week, and the European Commission participated in the discussions.

Ambassador Mavroyiannis reiterated the utmost effort put in by the Cyprus Presidency to achieve a positive outcome within the given timeframe but lamented the absence of “the necessary flexibility in each of our institutions needed to make further progress on the 2013 budget”. 

The Cypriot Deputy Minister highlighted the progress made, specifically concerning the draft amending budget No 5 for 2012. This related to the mobilisation of EUR 670 million from the EU Solidarity Fund in support of Italy.  

In reference to the EP’s view of addressing the issue of the draft amending budget no 6 for 2012 first, before proceeding with the negotiations for the 2013 budget, Ambassador Mavroyiannis was not in accord.

“The Council was and remains ready to discuss all elements of the budgetary package, but we continue to take the view that they cannot be dealt with in isolation from each other if we are to find a balanced outcome which will meet the concerns of all parties,” he stated.

The draft amending budget no 6 for 2012 calls for an additional 9 billion euros in additional payment appropriations for this year.

As stipulated by the Lisbon Treaty, a new proposal on the budget for 2013 is now expected by the European Commission, which should take into account the progress reached so far in reconciling the different positions of the EP and the Council.  

Ambassador Mavroyiannis reiterated the Cyprus Presidency’s readiness to do its utmost to make rapid progress on the issue of the new draft budget, so that the new EU budget is in place from the beginning of the year. For this to happen, however, the Cypriot Deputy Minister stressed that the Presidency counts on the EP’s willingness to engage in a constructive dialogue.

EU to honour its financing commitments under the Kyoto Protocol

The Cypriot Deputy Minister also made a statement about the Climate Change Conference (COP 18), which will be held between November 26 and December 7, in Doha, Qatar.

Responding to questions from MEPS, the Deputy Minister confirmed that the EU has accepted a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. He also reaffirmed that the “EU will demonstrate that it is on track to meet its fast-start finance pledge over the period 2010-2012 and work constructively on ways to scale up financing between 2013-2020.”

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Nikos Christodoulides

Coreper II

Telephone: +32 27395152
Mobile: +32 473400441
Head of Programme and Policy Coordination Unit
Irene Piki

Cyprus EU Presidency Secretariat

Telephone: +357 22400145
Communications Officer
Poly Papavassiliou

Office of the Deputy Minister for European Affairs

Telephone: +357 22400144



19.11.2012 - 22.11.2012