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2024 EU budget: efficiency in face of acute lack of funding

Due to the social-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU may need to reconsider the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027.

The European Commission claims that, despite the difficulties, the situation is under control. It also assures that no cuts are expected in the budget programs for next year.

However, the devil is in the details. To date, it is known that the multi-year EU budget, the MFF, has been exhausted to the limit.

Firstly, the expenses of the association do not keep up with the growth rate of inflation.

Secondly, the annual margins are almost exhausted. In other words, the EU is no longer able to respond promptly to new global economic threats: the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has exhausted almost all resources.

Thirdly, due to the growing humanitarian needs and the war that has advanced almost to the borders, the EU is forced to direct efforts to additional support of the Union members, as well as those countries that want to join it.

Experts suggest three steps to strengthen the EU, according to which it is necessary to revise the organization’s budget for 2024.

Firstly, due to the cost-of-living crisis that broke out against the background of high inflation, it is necessary to introduce additional measures to support the population and small businesses.

Secondly, there is a need for environmental reform aimed at a green transition and the gradual abandonment of traditional energy carriers. In other words, large-scale re-industrialisation is needed.

Thirdly, the European Union needs to consolidate its role as an influencer: to support Ukraine and its post-war reconstruction, as well as allies in southeastern Europe and the East. This also includes support for migration policy based on humanitarian values and views of the EU.

The needs of the European Union have increased many times over the past four years.

However, the contribution of the organization’s member countries to the overall budget is falling by up to 22 percent, while the needs are growing. Therefore, the budget for 2024 should be directed to key issues: migration policy, energy and security.

If the governments do not reconsider the current course, the well-being of the European Union, both financial and general, as well as the existence of the organisation, will become questionable.

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