The European Parliament: “2014-2020 budget freeze not possible unless agreed policies are slashed”
The European Parliament is the first EU institution to set out its position on the next long-term budget.
The European Parliament has issued a challenge to the Member States who want to freeze the EU’s next long-term budget covering the period 2014-2020. These countries should spell out which priorities they would drop as a consequence of the freeze, say MEPs. If all the objectives and policies agreed for the EU are to be completed, a minimum increase of 5% is needed compared to the 2013 budget, says Parliament.
MEPs feel that freezing future budgets at the 2013 level “is not a viable option”. An increase of at least 5% over the 2013 level – as they propose – would mean that the EU budget would be roughly 1.11% of the EU’s total GNI, compared to the 1.06% expected for 2013.
MEPs urge the Member States who advocate a frozen or reduced long-term budget to state exactly which policy priorities they want to drop in order to make room for a budget cut. Parliament fears that budget restrictions could jeopardise the already agreed boost for research and innovation (from today’s 1.9% of GDP to 3%) as well as investment in infrastructure, foreign policy and enlargement.
On 29 June, the European Commission is to table two proposals, one on the next multi-annual financial famework (MFF) and the other on own resources. Negotiations will then begin. The current MFF ends in 2013.