Hannes Swoboda: „We will only accept an EU budget that supports growth in Europe“
Following yesterday’s negotiations between heads of state and government at the EU Summit and in the light of the talks resuming at lunchtime today, the S&D Group reiterates its position that only a strong and growth-oriented EU budget would be acceptable for the European Parliament.
S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda said: „The European leaders‘ discussions and the new proposal from EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy show the disastrous situation Europe is in today.
„Regarding the additional cuts, it is unacceptable that the majority of member countries are letting themselves be blackmailed by David Cameron who is permanently threatening to block progress in the EU.
„The British prime minister, who is considering leading the UK out of the EU, is having more impact on the future of the EU than those who are committed to strengthening the EU and fulfilling their obligations.“
He continued by stressing the decisive role of the European Parliament in the budget negotiations:
„Those heads of state and government who want to serve their citizens – with a European budget to help combat unemployment, especially among the young, and to increase Europe’s competitiveness and international strength – know that they have an ally in the European Parliament, especially in the S&D Group.“If prime ministers want their budget proposal to be accepted by the European Parliament they must come up with a budget that is up to these tasks.
„National leaders are not the only ones to approve or reject a deal. A qualified majority in the European Parliament is needed (more than 50% of MEPs). If the Council wants us to accept their proposal, they must come up with a convincing proposal respecting our call for measures on growth.“
He concluded by urging leaders to agree an EU budget that can help European citizens:
„Many politicians make solemn declarations about supporting neighbouring countries and citizens in need, and forget these promises the next day. They promise more development aid and reduce it. They lament youth unemployment and do nothing. They talk about growth and modernisation and cut the budget for growth and competitiveness. They ask students and workers to accept mobility and then do not provide the support necessary.
„If the EU budget is decided on the basis of Van Rompuy’s latest proposal – or an even worse compromise – it will be a budget of broken promises.“