When you are in the middle of a crisis, it's always wise to have a financial strategy, isn't it?
The multiannual financial framework (MFF, formerly ‘financial perspectives’) is a spending plan that translates the EU priorities into financial terms. It is not a seven-year budget, but the basis for the annual budgetary exercise; it limits expenditure over a fixed period and defines the maximum amounts available for each major category of spending. It therefore provides a political as well as budgetary framework for focusing resources and investments where needed.
The current MFF period started in 2007 and will end in 2013. To put in place reforms and start implementation of the new programmes on time, the MFF should be adopted before the end of 2012.
Link to the web site of the financial framework