During a visit to Ljubljana, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn explained to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance that Brussels wants to revise the EU’s financial framework due to the rising costs of aid to Ukraine, inflation and borrowing costs.
European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn is at a meeting with the president of the Slovenian government Robert Golob presented the central reasons for the mid-term review and revision, writes v press release the prime minister’s cabinet.
These include, among others, the inclusion of additional necessary funds to help Ukraine, inflation and its effects on the Union’s expenditure, the rising cost of borrowing to finance the recovery mechanism after the corona crisis due to the rise in interest rates and the idea of establishing a European sovereign fund, which is supposed to be more competitive and the strategic independence of the European economy financed investments in essential technologies (clean technologies, semiconductors, biotechnologies, etc.).
The European Commission should not propose a new tool, but would make the most of the existing structures, while the funds for cohesion and agriculture would remain unchanged, the Prime Minister’s office stated.
According to their claims, Golob agreed that the mid-term review of the multi-annual financial framework should not affect the funds of the members within the cohesion and common agricultural policy. He advocated greater flexibility in the implementation of the aforementioned policies and the Recovery and Resilience Fund. At the same time, he should emphasize that due to the financial aid to Ukraine, resources for the other partners of the union should not be reduced, and he specifically singled out the countries of the Western Balkans.
Regarding possible new own resources for financing the budget of the European Union, the Prime Minister pointed out the importance of revenues from the EU system for trading greenhouse gas emissions (ETS) for the Slovenian budget, as the mentioned resources represent one of the main sources of financing the green transition in Slovenia.
Boštjančič called on Hahn to understand
The Commissioner from Austria was also received by the Minister of Finance Klemen Boštjančič with the team. Also at this meeting, the main topic was the mid-term review and revision of the multiannual financial framework, which is being prepared by the European Commission.
At the ministry are press release explained that Hahn warned, among other things, of the rising costs for the EU administration due to inflation. Regarding the funds intended for Ukraine, he emphasized that in addition to financing the current needs of the country, which is a victim of Russian aggression, it is also necessary to start thinking about the phase when the post-war reconstruction will take place.
The commissioner and Boštjančič are also expected to touch on the implementation of the plan for recovery and resilience in Slovenia. At the same time, the minister highlighted the importance of greater flexibility in implementation and appealed for the understanding of the European Commission in this regard. He also drew attention to the challenges posed by the reintroduction of fiscal rules in 2024 for countries, including Slovenia. According to the ministry’s predictions, this will also affect the discussions on the mid-term review of the multi-year financial framework.
Regarding the revenues from the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme, Boštjančič is said to have expressed Slovenia’s reluctance to the proposal to divert a larger share of these funds to the EU budget.
The Commission is expected to prepare the proposal for the mid-term review and revision of the multi-annual financial framework on June 20, and the leaders of the member states and governments are expected to familiarize themselves with it at the EU summit in June.
As can be seen from the starting points for Hahn’s visit to Ljubljana, which are published among government materials, the commission intends to propose more flexibility in the field of cohesion policy. Faster access to funds should be enabled for countries that have difficulties in drawing funds, and a proposal to expand cohesion funds to large companies for green investments is also being prepared.