S&D Euro MPs ready to reject unreasonable compromise on EU budget

One month before a crucial EU leaders summit on the future of EU budget, S&D Euro MPs warn that they could oppose the final deal if it is not ‚reasonable‘.

The future financing of the EU after 2014 was debated today in Strasbourg where MEPs adopted a resolution to set their priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.

The European Parliament also set the tone by rejecting the cuts proposed by the Council to the 2013 EU budget.

„There will be no agreement with the Council on the 2013 EU budget if there is not enough money to fund programmes such as Erasmus, research and cohesion policy“, commented the S&D Group negotiator Eider Gardiazábal Rubial.

S&D Group leader Hannes Swoboda welcomed the European Parliament’s strong position. On the forthcoming negotiations on EU financing, he said: „The Socialists and Democrats will not back a deal that is not reasonable.“

S&D Group vice-president Patrizia Toia stressed: „The EU budget is a tool for investment and solidarity. Europe’s resources are already limited. The EU budget accounts for less than 1% of the wealth produced in the EU.

„Today, Europe has no growth because of the austerity measures imposed by conservative governments. Europe needs the EU budget more than ever to boost growth and job creation, to underpin an anti-cyclical and co-ordinated answer to the current crisis.“

S&D Group negotiator Ivailo Kalfin commented: „The European Commission’s proposals are insufficient to finance the current EU’s political priorities.

„The EU budget is different from national budgets. The EU budget is an investment tool to support long-term development and strategic European co-operation. In fact 94% of the EU budget is invested in the member states to create a European added value or in making sure the EU speaks with one voice on the world stage.

„At the same time, by default, the budget cannot run a deficit and cannot produce debt. It gives additional instruments to the member states and the regions that are crucial in times of austerity.

„During the June summit, heads of state adopted a ‚growth pact‘, which amongst other things included using €55 billion to support SMEs and fight youth unemployment.

„These decisions need proper funding to become real.

„The European Parliament gave strong backing to important and long-standing S&D priorities like a European youth guarantee scheme, allocating 25% of the structural funds for the European Social Fund in the cohesion policies, prioritising environment expenditure and the rejection of macroeconomic conditionality on cohesion spending.

S&D Euro MPs also call for a change in financing for the budget which is mostly based on national contributions.

„The European Council must reach a political agreement on deep reforms to enter into force during the 2014-2020 period to make it fairer, more transparent and more accountable“, concluded Mr Kalfin.

S&D Group leader Hannes Swoboda also responded today to British prime minister David Cameron’s threat to veto an increase in EU spending after 2014.

„If Mr Cameron threatens to use his veto, he should be aware that we can do it as well. The European Parliament is much stronger than Mr Cameron“, said Hannes Swoboda speaking in Strasbourg today.