The Cyprus Presidency today concluded a first round of bilateral meetings with all Member States concerning the EU budget for 2014-2020. The Deputy Minister for EU Affairs, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, highlighted the willingness of everyone involved to cooperate and reiterated the Cyprus Presidency’s target of concluding the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) by the end of the year. The outcome of these meetings will form the basis of discussions at the upcoming Informal Meeting of Ministers and Deputy Ministers for EU Affairs in late August in Cyprus.
The Cyprus Presidency has set as one of its main priorities the conclusion of negotiations on the MFF. Aspiring to find a common ground which will lead to a final agreement, Ambassador Mavroyiannis held a series of bilateral meetings in Brussels with all Member States and Croatia during the past nine days. Representatives from the office of the President of the European Council, the European Commission and from the Council Secretariat also participated at the meetings.
The European Council in June 2012 called for an agreement by the end of the year, an agreement on a budget that will be mobilised to support growth, employment, competitiveness and convergence, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.
“We are delighted with the discussions during these meetings. They were very enlightening and took place in an honest and genuinely constructive spirit. We feel “wiser” as to what the Member States concerns and priorities are and this will help us find a consensual way forward in the negotiations,” stated Ambassador Mavroyiannis.
The Cyprus Presidency will present the outcome of the bilateral meetings at the upcoming General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting on July 24.
The outcome of the bilateral meetings will also form the basis of an ‘Issues Paper’ that will be presented and discussed at the Informal Meeting of Ministers and Deputy Ministers for European Affairs. The meeting will take place, in Lefkosia (Nicosia) on August 30 and the debate will focus exclusively on the MFF.
Negotiations on the MFF have currently revolved around the Negotiation Box; a document drafted by the Danish Presidency after discussions with the Member States. In the autumn, the Cyprus Presidency will work intensively in developing the Negotiation Box further and will cooperate closely with all competent institutions, so that an agreement is reached by the end of the year.
“We aspire to arrive at a multiannual framework by the end of the year that would be catalytic in the efforts of the EU to face successfully its challenges; a framework that would contribute towards our common aim of a Better Europe,” added Ambassador Mavroyiannis.
With aspirations set on finding an agreement on the MFF negotiations by the end of the year, the conclusion of the Cyprus Presidency-led bilateral meetings constitutes an important first step towards this target.
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Multiannual Financial Framework
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