(Brussels) “Every budget is important, but the next multiannual financial framework will make the history of the 27-member European Union. A lot of challenges await us in the future, and in Bratislava we opted for a stronger, more prosperous, more social Europe. Such a Europe needs a modern, appropriate budget. The plans we want to put in place require adequate resources. The UK’s withdrawal makes things more complicated. The plan we are submitting would like to respond to such emergencies. It amounts to 1.11% of the European Union’s gross GDP”. These are the words the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker started off with as he submitted the EU Executive’s plans for the multiannual financial framework 2020-2027 to the European Parliament today. Juncker spoke of a budget that is innovative in its plans and in its organisation. “This is an important time for our Union. The new budget is a chance to shape a new, ambitious 27-member European Union, with the standard of solidarity at its centre”. In today’s framework, “we have submitted a pragmatic plan on how to do more with less. The favourable economic wind in our sails gives us some leeway, but does not protect us from the need to make savings in some areas. We will make sure – Juncker added – our finances will be soundly managed through the so-far-unused ‘rule of law’ mechanism. This is what acting responsibly with the taxpayers’ money means. Now, the ball is in the court of the European Parliament and of the Council of Europe“.