Saturday

21st Apr 2018

MEPs: next EU budget should spend more on research, infrastructure

  • MEPs say EU leaders promised spending rises on research and competitiveness at the June summit (Photo: jurvetson)

The European Parliament is ready to hang tough with governments in upcoming talks on the seven year EU budget framework from 2014-2020, demanding "significant increases" in funding for research and development, small businesses and infrastructure projects.

Adopting their interim report on Thursday (11 October), MEPs on the influential budget committee said the spending rise is necessary and had been promised by EU leaders at the June summit as part of a growth and jobs pact.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Speaking after the vote, Bulgarian centre-left MEP Ivailo Calfin described the EU budget as "a pure investment tool" adding that "94 percent is invested back in the member states or for their external priorities."

German centre-right deputy, Reimer Boge, rejected calls for cuts, saying "the level of the future EU budget has to be sufficient to accommodate the priorities and commitments of the Union."

MEPs also called for EU spending on cohesion policy and EU farm aid (CAP) to be maintained "at least at the level of the 2007-2013 period." The two programmes account for the majority of budgetary spending.

The move is the latest sign of hardening stances between the EU institutions as talks on EU spending reach their critical stage.

On Wednesday (10 October), France and Germany released a joint statement endorsing a freeze in CAP spending, while a number of countries, including the Netherlands and the UK are demanding a settlement well below the 11 percent increase proposed by the European Commission.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is threatening to wield his veto if a smaller deal cannot be agreed.

The parliament's position will be finalised at the October Strasbourg session.

A special EU summit will also be convened in November in a bid for EU leaders to agree a common negotiation position on a deal worth almost €1 trillion over the coming seven years.

MEPs also want to see revenue from a financial transactions tax agreed by 11 EU countries to be classified as an "own resource" and to reduce the budget contributions of the countries involved.

A revised "own resources" regime should aim at a maximum level of national contributions of 40 percent, less than half the current 85 percent figure, they said. U

The budget committee also wants to see corrective policies - including the 30 year old British rebate - to be phased out.

There was scepticism about the idea mooted by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and endorsed by France, Germany and the UK, to establish a separate budget for the 17-country eurozone.

Socialist group leader Hannes Swoboda warned that a eurozone budget could create a split within the EU, saying that the idea "would only be feasible and acceptable if it were anchored in the framework of the European Union budget."

Helga Truepel, a German MEP who is the Green group's budget spokesperson, warned it could "jeopardise the European Parliament's co-deciding role in the budget."

Despite the concerns, the proposal is expected to be on the agenda at next week's EU summit.

At a conference in Brussels on Thursday (11 October) on the EU response to the debt crisis Van Rompuy defended the concept. "Every currency union needs also a fiscal capacity, and certainly a fiscal capacity to stabilise the euro zone," he said.

UK threatens to veto EU budget

British conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will block the upcoming EU seven-year budget cycle if it goes against UK interests.

Agenda

Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK

The European Commission will present proposals to protect whistleblowers, combat fake news and organise the digital single market. The international community will gather in Brussels to discuss how to help Syrians in the current war and after.

Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform

France and Germany have pledged to forge a joint position on euro reform by June, despite German reluctance on deeper monetary union.

News in Brief

  1. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  2. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  3. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  4. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  5. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  6. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  7. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  8. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  2. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  3. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  4. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  5. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  6. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  7. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  8. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists