23rd Apr 2019

Liberals suggest scrapping some EU institutions

The European Parliament's Liberal group has called for targeted spending cuts to the EU's common agricultural policy, together with the potential scrapping of several EU institutions.

The measures are contained in a list of revenue-saving measures outlined in a Liberal position paper published on Tuesday (11 January), relating to the EU's future multi-annual financial framework (MFF), post 2013.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The EU's Committee of Regions and European Economic and Social Committee (Photo: Alex Jilitsky)

Possible savings can be made by "fundamentally restructuring certain parts of the EU administration, such as the Committee of Regions ... [and] abolishing the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and others," says the document.

The group also calls for the European Parliament's shuttling between Brussels and Strasbourg to come to an end through the creation of just one fixed seat, together with spending cuts for EU programmes whose aims have already been achieved or whose goals are "dubious", such as support for tobacco production.

In response, EESC officials stressed that their institution's budget is "tiny", representing just 2.56 percent of the EU's overall administrative budget, and brings important added-value to the union's work.

Europe's post-2013 financial framework has already proved contentious, with the battle set to increase this year.

Leaders from Britain, France, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands sent an open letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso last December, calling for any rise in the size of the post-2013 multi-annual framework to remain below inflation.

Parliament's Liberals on the other hand want a redirecting of current funding, away from areas such as agriculture and towards the EU's 2020 strategy for growth and jobs.

At the same time, more recently joined EU member states are calling for their EU farm payments to be brought into line with older members. Latvian farmers currently receive €98 per hectare in direct payments, while Greek farmers receive €580.

An unofficial Latvian position paper on CAP reform, seen by EUobserver, calls for the creation of new upper and lower limits, under which per hectare payments would vary between €200 and €300, depending on farming costs and per capita GDP in a specific country.

Latvian centre-right MP Imants Liegis, in Brussels on Tuesday to speak to EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos, said Europe's poorest regions must be protected.

"Even if the CAP budget were decreased, we would hope that Latvian farmers would still receive increased payments," he said. "Solidarity should also prevail in Europe's cohesion policy payments."

The European Commission is due to come forward with formal proposals on the EU's next long-term budget and farm policy before the summer.


All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us