The European Parliament's special temporary committee on future policy challenges and the EU budget (SURE committee) adopted its report the post-2013 financial framework yesterday evening. After the vote, Green MEP and shadow draftsman Bas Eickhout said:
“MEPs have made clear that a freeze or decrease in the EU's budget post-2013 is not an option if the EU is serious about achieving the policy priorities it has set for itself, notably in the Europe 2020 strategy. As such, the committee has poured cold water on a proposal by some member states to limit the future EU budget to 1% of gross national income.
"It is high time to end the squabbling over national contributions to the EU budget and have a more rational debate over the needed reform of spending policies. Introducing a true and meaningful 'own-resources' system for financing the EU budget is the only way to achieve this. The Greens have long pushed for such a system and for an end to the distorting rebate system and welcome that the SURE committee endorsed this approach.”
Green budgetary affairs spokesperson and vice-chair of the SURE committee Helga Trüpel added
“New investments are needed to make the European budget future-oriented and we welcome that the committee has recognised this. The EU budget can provide added value by pooling resources, acting as a catalyst, offering economies of scale and creating positive cross-border and spill-over effects. This would contribute to achieving agreed targets more effectively and also help reduce member state expenditure.
"Major investment is needed in areas like infrastructure to meet the EU's climate and energy targets, the knowledge society, research and development, innovation and education. The EU also has commitments made to developing countries in the areas of development aid and climate change adaptation, which must be met. Unfortunately, the Greens did not manage to get clear support for prioritising energy infrastructure that is entirely based on renewable energy. So, while the EP recognises the need to invest in the green economy, it is not willing to truly put its money where its mouth is.”