19th Feb 2019

MEPs set to agree on equal salaries from EU budget

The European Parliament is expected to hammer out a new salary system for its deputies, scrapping the pay discrepancies among them and ending a much criticised reimbursement scheme for their travels.

The parliamentarians will debate the new MEP statute this afternoon (22 June) and vote on the draft tomorrow, during their plenary session in Brussels.

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

MEPs are likely to follow the overwhelming support of the draft by the Parliament’s legal committee, appointed to give its opinion on the document.

All the main political parties have supported the legislation, which is also backed by a majority of member states.

However, the Italian centre-right rapporteur Giuseppe Gargani - officially backing the statute - has sent a letter to his nationals, asking them to reject it, because of the significant drop it would mean in their salaries, according to sources.

The centre right EPP-ED party, which is the biggest parliamentary group, is expected to be split when voting on the document.

The vote itself will be separate for the statute and one of its suggestions, which would not get approval by the member states.

It is the proposal to allow the national governments to add up to their deputies' salaries permanently, and not just for up to ten years of transitional period which they can opt of.

Without the postponements, the new system should come into force in 2009.

Italians to lose out the most

The new statute will provide the same salary and other payments for the MEPs from all the EU countries, paid out from the bloc’s budget whereas so far it has been covered by the member states.

The monthly pay for the deputies is to be levelled at 7000 euro, which corresponds to 38.5 percent of the wages of a judge at the European Court of Justice.

That will mean a boost for deputies from all the member states, apart from Italy and Austria where the MEPs salaries mount to around 12 000 euro and 7 500 euro respectively. The deputies from Ireland and the UK are currently getting about the same pay as proposed for the future.

On the other hand, the figure is to rocket for the countries from central and eastern Europe, where the salaries range from around 1000 euro euro in Latvia to over 4000 euro in Slovenia.

The new system would mean that in some states, the MEPs would not only get far more than the national deputies, but also more than other state authorities.

"For some member states, it can be politically impossible to explain to their citizens such a great gap between the national and European salaries for members of parliament. So they can keep to the current system," said the spokesman for the legal affairs committee.

He added that if governments decide to do so, they would have to provide the salaries from their own national budget.

The parliamentary salaries will be subject to an EU income tax of 25 percent, which will flow back to the common budget, but member states can tax their deputies additionally if their national income tax is higher.

Stop cheap travel and big cash backs

The new system will ditch the existing provisions for reimbursements of MEP’s travelling.

At the moment – and applied at least until 2009 if the draft is adopted – the deputies get flat-rate refund for their travel between different working places (up to €971), and from home to work (0.24 euro per km), plus an extra travel allowance of €3736 per year for work-related journeys throughout the year.

Under the new statute, all the reimbursements will be based on the actual receipts from the travel tickets, and this should apply even if the member states apply the transitional period.

While the MEPs will get less for their journeys, they will still keep their daily presence allowance of €268, plus the money for running their office of up to €14, 865 per month.

MEPs overwhelmingly support new pay deal

The European Parliament has passed the new statute for its members, scrapping the pay discrepancies among the MEPs and flat-rate travel allowances.

Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table

EU probes into Hungary and Poland on rule of law and democracy are back on the agenda of EU affairs ministers - but with little guidance from the Romanian presidency, without a clear idea where the procedures are headed.

Calls for Tajani's resignation over Slovenia, Croatia row

The European Parliament's Italian president referred to Croatia and Slovenia as former Italian regions at the weekend, sparking outrage. Although Antonio Tajani apologised, somer former leaders and MEPs are now calling for his resignation.

MEPs call on EU countries to deal with Hungary

MEPs who launched a procedure examining the democratic situation in Hungary last year now want member states to step up efforts. The government in Budapest meanwhile accuses MEPs of attacking Hungary over migration.


France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty

In the face of attacks on the liberal world order and the EU, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron renew German-Franco cooperation - but their lack of political capital prevents bold visions or ambitious goals.


Italy will keep blinking in 2019

Italy's 'marriage of convenience' coalition government likes picking battles with Brussels. But with the economy now in recession, and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini needing to keep the business lobby on board, expect Rome to blink first.


The test for Sweden's new government

While the formation of a new government ends Sweden's fourth-month paralysis, it doesn't resolve the challenge from radical-right populists in Sweden. A key question remains: will treating populists like pariahs undercut the appeal of their, often anti-rights, politics?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Trump right for once: Europe should take back foreign fighters
  2. EU should clarify rules for plant burgers and lab meat
  3. Italian populists could be second biggest force in EU parliament
  4. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump on cars
  5. British MPs condemn Facebook CEO's misrule
  6. EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland
  7. ESA pushback against new EU space agency plan
  8. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us