EP Report on the post-2020 MFF: a good step in the right direction

On 14 March, the European Parliament approved its Own-Initiative Report on the EU’s post-2020 Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF), drafted by the Rapporteurs Jan Olbrycht (EPP – Poland ) and Isabelle Thomas (S&D – France). The European Builders Confederation (EBC), representing Construction SMEs and craftsmen in Europe, welcomes the Parliament report and is glad to see that it:

  • Calls for a greater emphasis on quality apprenticeships and stresses that combating youth unemployment, especially among NEETs, should continue to be a top priority;

  • Welcomes the success of the dedicated EU programme for the competitiveness of SMEs (COSME) under the current MFF and asks for the COSME programme’s financial envelope to be doubled in order to correspond to the actual needs of the EU economy;
  • Calls, in particular, for the Erasmus+ envelope to be at least tripled in the next MFF with the aim of reaching many more young people and apprentices across Europe;
  • Considers that the successor programme to Horizon 2020 should receive twice the funding available under the current framework programme in order to alleviate the research and innovation funding gap;
  • Calls for climate-related funding to be raised to 30%  in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Energy Efficiency First principle;

  • Highlights that the ESF budget should be strengthened and should expand its support to the development of social dialogue, namely by improving the capacity building of social partner

EBC Secretary general, Eugenio Quintieri, stated: “We are glad to see that the Report goes into the right direction by improving access to finance for Construction SMEs and craftsmen, still a huge challenge in our sector. We hope that the Commission proposal will follow this path and that the definition of new MFF specific budget headings will take into account the needs of our sector: boosting energy efficiency renovations, blue collars upskilling, easing access to digitalisation, promoting innovation, and ensuring representation of SMEs in the standardisation process. Moreover, we need to ensure more consistency and synergy between different schemes and programmes; also administrative rules and financial management of the EU funding programmes should not represent an obstacle to the participation of SMEs. Finally, allowing flexibility in using and blending different funding sources would enable more project aggregation, at regional, national or transnational level, for construction SMEs.

To read the full text of the adopted MFF report.