An enormous political battle has just begun in the European Union (EU). On 2 May, the European Commission presented its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU budget, for the period 2021-27. This kicked off a lengthy and complex negotiation process. Throughout 2018 and 2019, probably even beyond, we can expect a discussion on the highest political level, involving the European Parliament and the member states, about the priorities and direction for the EU. As before, this will likely turn into horse-trading whereby competing interests are translated into actual figures – at the cost of the agreed grand objectives.