Budget and Human Resources Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger launched a high-level conference on ‘Shaping Our Future – Designing the Next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)’, which is hosted by the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), on 8 and 9 January.
The conferences were attended by senior EU representatives, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţa.
In his opening address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Budgets are not bookkeeping exercises - they are about priorities and ambition. So let’s first discuss about the Europe we want. […] I am against the old debate between so-called net recipients versus net payers to the EU budget - because when it comes to the EU, we are all net recipients".
The EU is expected to play a bigger role in new policy areas like migration, internal and external security or defence. And Europe should also preserve its leading role on the global stage, as a major humanitarian and development aid donor and as a leader of the fight against climate change. That must be achieved with an EU budget that will only get smaller following the departure of the United Kingdom.