S&D Group ready to reject EU budget compromise if there are too many cuts
Ahead of the EU Summit tonight in Brussels, the S&D Group reiterates its call for a strong EU budget and warns that it will reject any deal that would lead to harsh cuts. Following an intense debate in the Group meeting yesterday evening in Strasbourg, S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda said:
„It is very clear. If the draft EU budget is watered down further – beyond the Commission proposal – we are ready to reject it. The European Parliament has the power to do so and we as a Group are ready to use the means we have available.
„To get out of the crisis and make investments for growth we need a strong EU budget. At just 1% of EU GDP, the budget is already small compared to national budgets. If we reduce it further or cut in the areas that are crucial to fight the recession, we will not be able to make any progress in the seven years to come.
„National interests should not dominate the debate. We have a joint interest in addressing these problems together and the EU budget is the right tool to do so. By investing in research and development, infrastructure, education programmes and other areas that are crucial for European citizens, we can help member states to face the difficult economic times ahead.
„It is particularly unacceptable that some countries are demanding extreme cuts, but at the same time vehemently defending their own interests. The British government is currently resisting all cuts in subsidies for big farms!
„We cannot accept a budget that is too low to enhance growth and lacks the necessary reforms. And which cannot fulfil all the solemn promises of the heads of government. When they meet today in the Council they should remember what they promised previously.
„Our Group is ready to fight for an appropriate EU budget that can make a difference to people – and we are ready to reject any proposal that does not follow this path.“