27th May 2019

Commission: equal pay for MEPs strain on EU budget

Euro-parliamentarians have taken the first step in reforming their working conditions, pay and expenses by voting in favour of the Rothley report which establishes a Statute for MEPs.

But the Commission, in its opinion after the vote, noted that "there will clearly be significant additional costs for the EC budget."

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 majority of MEPs voted in favour of an equal salary of 8,500 euro a month, eliminating the present disparities between what MEPs earn according to their nationality. This new salary amount will be paid from the EU budget and not by the respective Member States as it is presently.

At the moment an Italian MEP earns 11,779 euro per month whereas a Spaniard earns 2,540.

But whilst they voted themselves a pay rise, the EU acceding states might still face themselves with a lower pay.

Opt-out for MEPs from new member states

MEPs decided to give the new EU states the option to keep paying MEPs elected from their country like their respective national parliamentarians, from the entry into force of the accession treaty to the end of the second full European Parliament legislative term after that date.

The Commission also indicated that provisions in the draft statute touching immunities raise certain legal problems, as they would amend primary law, and therefore be out of the competence of the European Parliament.

Despite five-year long discussions over the Statute for MEPs, Mr Rothley wanted this issue to be included in the report, even though it might lead EU states to block it.

The issue of taxation might also put the European Parliament at loggerheads with the Council.

It was decided that MEPs should pay tax to the European Communities and not their national taxation. Besides the likely opposition which might arrive from the Nordic countries and the UK, the liberals in the European Parliament feel that this will bring them in a position of EU civil servants, as they will not be paying the same tax as their constituents.

MEPs will now vote tomorrow on the motion for resolution, after considering the opinion given by the Commission. If approved, the Statute will go to the Council with the hope that EU states will not block it.

MEP perks on foreign ministers' agenda

Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow will take time out from discussing controversial international issues to discussing controversial issues closer to home: MEPs' pay and funding of pan-European political parties.

Belgium votes in hybrid EU-national election

Belgians will be electing MPs to six parliaments, on top of the European Parliament, with Greens expected to fare well at both the federal and regional levels.

EU says goodbye to May with 'respect'

EU leaders praised Theresa May's commitment to deliver an orderly Brexit - while they now brace themselves for an even more eurosceptic British prime minister.

Key details on how Europeans will vote

It's one of the biggest democratic exercises in the world with over 400 million eligible voters. National rules apply, and national parties run, but the stakes are at European level.

News in Brief

  1. Timmermans calls for 'progressive alliance'
  2. Catalonia's Puigdemont wins MEP seat
  3. Weber opens door to alliance with greens and liberals
  4. Tsipras calls snap Greek election after EP defeat
  5. Polish ruling PiS takes lion's share of EU vote
  6. Romanian voters punish ruling PSD party
  7. First official EP projection: EPP remain top, Greens fourth
  8. UK forecast puts Brexit Party on top, with 24 seats

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Populists' EU breakthrough fails, greens and liberals gain
  2. Jubilant Greens in party mood after first EP projection
  3. 2019 European election results
  4. Thunberg: We can still fix climate, but must start today
  5. Turnout up in Slovakia, with pro-EU liberals scoring high
  6. Belgium votes in hybrid EU-national election
  7. Irish greens take Dublin in second EU exit poll
  8. EU election results to trigger top jobs scramble This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us