S&D Group: „We need a strong EU budget for growth and investment – the negotiations must not water down our key demands“

Yesterday EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy met with the European Parliament’s negotiators to discuss the next steps on the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) ahead of the EU summit next week. The new negotiating position presented by Van Rompuy – which proposes further cuts – is not a reasonable basis for a compromise the European Parliament can accept.


Commenting on the latest text, S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda said:


„The debate on the MFF is not about a power struggle between the institutions, nor is it about a dramatic increase in contributions from member states. In fact the debate is about more substantial issues and the need to come up with a long-term solution to foster growth, competitiveness and job creation in Europe over the next seven years.


„The latest proposal from Van Rompuy does not get us nearer to an agreement from the European Parliament.


„For us the MFF must be a budget for growth and investment in areas such as research and development, the fight against youth unemployment and other measures to stimulate the economy and get Europe out of recession.“


S&D MEP and joint lead negotiator on the MFF report Ivailo Kalfin added:


„We must make sure that our key demands such as investment for growth and jobs, and the option of allowing funds to be reallocated between the different budget headings (so-called ‚flexibility‘) are kept on the negotiating table.


„It is crucial that the negotiations are held in a European spirit. National interests should not prevail over EU interests. We as Socialists and Democrats must be able to come forward with a strong and consistent position for the upcoming EU summit.“