Zovko: The current Council position on the MFF and external financial instruments might jeopardize the EU’s credibility in its partner states

Brussels, 21 September 2020


The Committee of Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament held a debate on the outcome of the special European Council of 17-21 July on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-27. The members expressed their concerns about the proposed cuts to the EU’s external financial instruments and emphasized that the current proposal might jeopardize the EU’s credibility in its partner states.

Željana Zovko who is the co-rapporteur for the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) informed the Committee of the effects of the Summit conclusion on the this file in particular. She said that the proposed cuts could deal a blow to the EU’s ability to stabilise and transform accession countries and prepare them for membership obligations.

Zovko stated that the IPA beneficiaries still face multiple challenges, from democratic deficit to economic transformation and regional integration. In the geopolitical context, a low involvement of the European Union leaves the region even more at the mercy of the third country actors.

According to the co-rapporteur, these concerns are also addressed in the trilogues in order to bridge the gap between the Council and the Parliament. “In addition to the financial resources, it is important to embed the appropriate role for the European Parliament in governance and EP scrutiny in the IPA Regulation”, Zovko said.

Zovko informed the committee that the negotiations are still ongoing and that they are even intensified given that not much time is left for the new IPA regulation to enter into force by 1 January.

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